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Master Jan: Annunciation of Our Lady
Catalogue Number:  315
Graphic Lay-Out:  František Horniak
Stamp Engraving:  František Horniak
Date of Issue:  November 28, 2003
Printing:  Postal Stationery Printing House, Prague, Czech republic
Print Technology:  Recess printing from flat plates
Size of Impression:  40.0 mm x 50.0 mm
Print Run:  160,000 pieces
FDC Engraving:  František Horniak
Cancellation Design:  František Horniak
FDC Printing:  TAB Ltd., Bratislava
FDC Print Technology:  Recess printing from flat plates
FDC Print Run:  6,000

The altar piece in the Church of St. George in Spišská Sobota dedicated to the Virgin Mary is one of the first completely preserved from the late gothic period in Slovakia. The altar piece, comprising of central part, painted wings and gable was created in a carving and painting workshop in Levoča between 1460 - 1470. The painter was Master John, whose signature is also to be found under the altar piece of St. Catherine in Levoča as well. It has therefore been assumed that the Master carver who created the altar piece for Virgin Mary in Spišská Sobota also created the altar piece for St. Catherine in Levoča. According to research, both artists worked in Levoča between 1460 - 1480 and delivered their works to many parts of the Spiš region. Four Marian scenes are painted on the front side of altar piece?s hinged wings. One pictures the annunciation of Our Lady and is located on the bottom panel of the left wing. The Archangel Gabriel with a metal fillet on his head and dressed in a coat clasped with a buckle holds a message from heaven in his hand - a medieval document with seal and minuscule inscription: ave grazia plena dominus tecum (Hail, full of grace, the Lord is with you). The Virgin Mary is on her knees, with hands crossed on her chest, ready to receive him. On the stamp is the scene of the annunciation of Our Lady and on the FDC is St. Gabriel with the message.

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