Renaissance painter Raphael may not be from Baltimore, but his painting “Madonna of the Candelabra” lives here, hanging inside the Walters Art Museum. So we have some kind of right to brag over its being chosen as the U.S. Postal Service’s official Christmas stamp this year.
The stamp features a rectangular detail of the painting, which is circular. According to the Walters’ website, the painting’s flanking candles (of which only one is visible in the stamp) is a “rare motif” for this kind of painting and is typical of paintings of Roman emperors. Angels present in the original are cropped out of the stamp design, perhaps intentionally. These figures were painted not by Raphael, but by assistants in his workshop.