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Simon Bolivar Stamp

Sharon Sneddon, Project 4C

The piece of artwork to the right can be found at the following web address:
Simon Bolivar is the famous, El Libertador, of South America. Many put much of the success of the liberation of South America from Spain upon his shoulders. Simon Bolivar was an influential South American Revolutionary leader. He helped unify and draw South America together to become an independent nation, free of Spanish control. He died of tuberculosis in 1830 in the midst of civil war and unrest throughout most of South America.
I came across this piece by typing Simon Bolivar Art into google and then browsing the pictures. I chose this stamp because the artist, Paul Gaugin, seemed familiar to me and I was curious about this particular stamp.
The subject of this piece of artwork is Simon Bolivar. He is depicted in his finest military uniform, with his arm patriotically as well as decoratively strewn up against his chest towards his heart. It appears the artist has used simply pen and ink to complete this particular piece. It also appears the piece, unless copied onto stamp form from an original work Paul did, was done in one color, green. The artist seems to have stuck to specific stamp guidelines and not used too much artistic freedom or interpretation in the layout of the stamp. The portrait however is ultimately unique and more honest of all of the portraits of Bolivar I have witnessed. Usually he is depicted on horseback or with broader shoulders. This Bolivar seems more realistic.
This piece of artwork captures the true essence of Bolivar, a once regular South American like you and me, who rose to greatness because of his own will to free his homeland. It is inspiring because one can relate to Bolivar's humanity, he is tangible, sometimes unlike the martyr-like depictions of him on horseback or in a lightning storm.
I would like to know if Paul Gauguin, the artist, created this stamp from viewing another piece of artwork. Gauguin was born in Paris in 1848 and his mother had always been a follower of Bolivar. Actually, Bolivar was one of his mother's immediate ancestors.  Gaugin was brought up in Lima, Peru. I would like to know if he chose to paint the stamp of Bolivar or if he simply needed money and was chosen/commissioned by the government.


Project 4C