Tuesday, April 5, 2016

Portugal 2016
Historical and Cultural Figures

ISSUE DATE: 14 March 2016
STAMP THEME: Historical and Cultural Figures
STAMP SIZE:40 x 30.6  mm

Vergílio Ferreira became one of the most important authors of the 20th century, producing a vast and significant body of work that received the most prestigious awards in Portuguese literature.
A novelist, storyteller, essayist, and diarist, he had a passion for writing, which he used to circumvent his profound philosophical concerns about the human condition. The author of “Aparição” [Apparition] was born in Melo, Gouveia, on 28 January 1916 and died in Lisbon on 1 March 1996.
His childhood was marked by the absence of his parents, who emigrated, and his six year internment at the “Seminário do Fundão” (a seminary), an experience he portrayed with literary mastery in the novel “Manhã Submersa” [Morning Undersea], which received a film adaptation in 1980. He studied classical philology and enjoyed a long teaching career that took him to Faro, Bragança, Évora, and Lisbon. His notable students included Hélder Godinho, Nuno Júdice, Almeida Faria, Luís Miguel Cintra, and Álvaro Lapa, among others. Gouveia City Council and the University of Évora established literary prizes in his honour.
António José de Almeida distinguished himself as a politician, having identified with republican ideology from a young age. President of the Portuguese Republic from 1919-1923, he faced strong social unrest and appointed 16 heads of government. However, he completed the full mandate, the only man to do so during the First Portuguese Republic. 
Born on 27 July 1866 in Vale da Vinha, Penacova, he studied medicine at the University of Coimbra and practised as a doctor in Angola and São Tomé and Príncipe. After returning to Lisbon he became known as the “doctor of the poor”. He then became more involved in politics and joined the Freemasons. He was the founding member of the Evolutionist Party. As Minister for the Interior, he contributed towards significant reforms in higher education. He defended Portugal’s involvement in the First World War and also oversaw the Colonies and Overseas portfolio. He was an excellent orator and his speeches are famous. Eight years after his death, on 31 October 1929, a monument was built in his memory in Lisbon.

Mário Dionísio, who was famed for his intellect and multifaceted personality, had
a significant cultural, political, and civic influence on Portuguese society in the 20th century. He was best known as a writer, painter, critic, and teacher. He was born on 16 July 1916 and studied Romance philology. He was a teacher at the Camões Secondary School for 20 years and, following the Portuguese Revolution, he taught at the University of Lisbon’s Arts Faculty. 
Admired for his teaching skills, he is remembered as a “master”. His students included the directors Luís Miguel Cintra and Jorge Silva Melo, among many others. An unrivalled authority on neorealist theory, he began painting in 1942. He maintained almost total secrecy over his painting from the time of his participation in the Exposições Gerais de Artes Plásticas (General Exhibitions of Visual Arts) in 1953 up until the age of 73, often signing his work with the pseudonyms Leandro Gil and José Alfredo Chaves. His bibliography includes poetry, fiction, and texts on painting and literature. He died in his home town of Lisbon on 17 November 1993, four years after holding his first solo painting exhibition.

Stamp images thanks to CTT Correios de Portugal

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