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Interview with the artist behind Princess Charlene of Monaco stamp

editorial & arteditorial

14 December 2015
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On 3 December 2015, as part of the international philatelic exhibition "Monaco Phil 2015," the Stamp Issuing Office of the Principality of Monaco sold stamps from the first part of the 2016 philatelic program.

The stamps offered included the Princess Charlene of Monaco rose, Princess Charlene of Monaco, and the 2015 "Monacophil" block. This was designed by the South African artist, Stefanie van Zyl.

To get to know the artist a little bit more, I invite you to read a short interview:

AO: Please let us know more about you and your work 

S: I was born in Namibia and grew up in South Africa ( I am South African) I have lived in France for many years and have illustrated for magazines in Paris. I have lived here in the Monaco area for about 10 years and have established my art here permanently. My work can be seen at the TURRI interior design shop,also called 'Design de luxe" next to the automobile club in Monaco. 

AO: How the idea of a stamp with Princess Charlene came? 

S: I am a portrait painter and my 2 most important exhibitions until now have been in Monaco at the Monte Carlo Art gallery ,the owner was Mr Ottavio Fabbri,who has sold it since then. HSH Prince Albert came to the opening cocktail of my first exhibition and Princess Charlene came to my second one in 2012. She bought 2 artworks from me - there are one or two other portraits of mine in the Palace too. As you will see on my website,I have painted a few 'royal' portraits too. 

AO: Where did you took your inspiration from? 

S: I had already done a stamp , in about 2007, for the MONACO RED CROSS. The stamp office in Monaco knows me as a portrait artist so they approached me to participate in the project, with a few other artists,to come up with a portrait of the Princess for her stamp. I did a drawing in sanguine (photo attached) inspired by the regal but simple attitude of the photo I chose, and decided to put proteas behind her (the South African national flower which I know she loves). The sanguine tone is also a reminder of the colours of Africa. I was so happy when my project was chosen. It is important for me as it's the first "official" stamp representing the new princess of Monaco. As a South African too, it is a great honour. 

AO: Where can this stamp can be seen? 

S: The stamp is now on sale at post offices in Monaco but was released on the first day of the MONACOPHIL expo so I had to sign all the stamps bought as well as the booklets and cards and envelopes,the red booklets were a first.It included my stamp with the portrait of the Prince  done a few years ago by my stamp artist friend, Thierry Mordant.

The stamp was engraved by Elsa Catelin.

Editor Andra Oprea