A new postage stamp is issued for people with strong nerves

Sep 19, 2018

Lithuania Post issues a postage stamp to honour one of the most famous Lithuanian painters Šarūnas Sauka. A brave, controversially accepted piece of his work, "Painting for the Millennium of Lithuania", is depicted on a stamp of EUR 0.99, which will be released on Friday, 14 September.


"Š. Sauka has been in the eyes of art lovers for twenty years, but they are still astonished - he only needs to paint one picture, and it becomes the most discussed piece of Lithuanian art. This also happened with the "Painting for the Millennium of Lithuania", which currently hangs in the Lithuanian Presidency – some people thought that the idea of Sauka’s painting was terrifying, others remained fascinated, but none had any doubts about it. “But what is the purpose of art?” says Vaida Budrienė, Head of Department of Corporate Affairs of the Lithuania Post. “In the context of the century of the Lithuanian state, this painting is very symbolic, as the form of such kind of art is a reminder of Lithuanian history. The painting provokes and makes us think, so spreading this postage stamp all over the world will remind everyone of the way we had to go as a state and society, and draw attention to the difficult but glorious past of Lithuania".

In the centre of the painting, which was baptized in the media "only to people with strong nerves", a huge palace made out of human bodies and which represent the State is depicted – this is our history, consisting of the lives of people who created it. Next to the palace, there is Rūpintojėlis that looks like Š. Sauka and is wounded and dripping with puss. Underneath his legs, ordinary people of the society of various epochs and times, such as writer Žemaitė, poet Julius Janonis, singer Virgilijus Noreika, poet Bernardas Brazdžionis, presidents Antanas Smetona, Aleksandras Stulginskis and Kazys Grinius, composer Juozas Naujalis, historian Simonas Daukantas, philosopher Vydūnas, artist and composer Mikalojus Konstantinas Čiurlionis, pilots Steponas Darius and Stasys Girėnas, poet Salomėja Nėris, linguist Jonas Jablonskis, doctor Jonas Basanavičius, priest and poet Maironis, writers Vaižgantas and Balys Sruoga, poets Paulius Širvys, Cardinal Vincentas Sladkevičius and many more. This scene in the left hand corner of the picture is observed by a girl in a bright dress who is thinking – she is the future of Lithuania.

With a postage stamp block “Contemporary Lithuanian Art. Painting” dedicated to the art of Š. Sauka, a first day envelope will also be released to the market, and on Friday the postal correspondence paid by the new postage stamp will be stamped with the postage stamp of the first day in the central post office of Vilnius. The postmark block will be issued for 15 thousand copies.

The beginning of the series "Contemporary Lithuanian Art" for the postage stamps in 2015 was started by designer Juozas Statkevičius - his postmark for Lithuanian fashion has been the first one. In 2016, a postage stamp dedicated to the special art depicted a graphic work by Petras Repšis "Sėdinti", and in 2017 Algirdas Kuzma's sculpture "Lozoriau, kelkis".

Š Sauka was born on 11 September 1958 in Vilnius. After graduating from the Lithuanian State Art Institute (now the Vilnius Academy of Fine Arts) in 1985, the artist amazed others with productivity and mastery, painting one big or two smaller paintings each year. The National Arts and Culture Award was awarded to the thirty-year-old artist for the "Battle of Grunwald" in 1989.

Lithuania Post issues 25-27 stamps per year. Lithuania Post also provides courier, logistics and financial intermediation services.