Liechtenstein – Joint issue with Russia – Eugen Zotow
There is now a fine tradition in Liechtenstein philately of joint issues by two national postal administrations. In the last few years alone there have been joint philatelic projects with Switzerland, Austria, Germany, China and Costa Rica.
The current issue celebrates the friendship between Russia and Liechtenstein with two stamps commemorating the Russian painter, illustrator, graphic artist, photographer and philosopher Ivan Myasoyedov. Myasoyedov, born in 1881 in Kharkiv in what is now Ukraine, arrived in Vaduz in 1938 after a flight begun in 1919 during the Revolution which took him and his wife Malvina Vernici through many staging-posts (including the Crimea, Trieste, Berlin, Riga and Brussels); in Vaduz he worked under the name Eugen Zotow as one of the first self-employed artists in Liechtenstein. In his new homeland he was regarded on the one hand as a likeable eccentric, while on the other he was rated a popular portrait artist who drew subjects drawn from the entire population right up to the Princely Family. He also designed several series of stamps for the Liechtenstein Government. In the spring of 1953 he left Liechtenstein for good to migrate to Argentina, where however he died as early as the 27th July 1953.
The first of the two stamps designed by the Russian Post Office shows the early work “Voyage of the Argonauts” (face value CHF 1.40), completed in 1909 as an entry in a competition at the St. Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts and depicting an excerpt from the adventurous voyage of the Greek prince Jason with his companions the Argonauts; the second shows the painting “Silum” (face value CHF 2.60), which Zotow painted in 1945 during his exile in Liechtenstein and which shows a typically Zotow view of Liechtenstein’s alpine world. The two stamps are being issued in se-tenant form and are to appear both in Liechtenstein (German) and in Russia (Cyrillic).