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Marianne, Symbol of Liberty in France

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The Canadian Postal Museum is pleased to announce the opening of the exhibition Marianne, Symbol of Liberty in France. The exhibition features close to 175 philatelic items bearing the image of this emblem of the French Republic.

Marianne, Symbol of Liberty in France is being shown in the Collectors’ Corner, a space reserved for fascinating exhibitions developed by private collectors in collaboration with Museum staff. Paul Gray, a long-time volunteer at the Museum, collector and self-taught artist, presents close to 175 French postage stamps from his own collection. The exhibition will highlight the diversity of Marianne’s faces, depicted by well-known artists such as Salvador Dali.

A feminine icon symbolizing the citizens’ attachment to a republican France, Marianne is an emblem of liberty, fraternity and equality. Many painters and sculptors portray her sporting a Phrygian cap. This headdress worn by freed slaves in ancient Rome was reintroduced at the time of the French Revolution to evoke liberty.

Since 1935, Marianne has appeared on many commemorative postage stamps, and since the liberation of France, in 1944, her image is among those most often seen on definitives. Indeed, stamps bearing her image are called Mariannes.

Presenting Sponsor:
 Canada Post

Photo credit:
Drawing and engraving: Y. Beaujard © La Poste 2011