The U.S. Postal Service continues its custom of issuing traditional U.S. Christmas stamps. Since 1978, the theme of these stamps has been the Madonna and Child, and these holiday stamps have attracted a devoted following over the years.
The 2007 Christmas stamp features an oil-on-panel entitled The Madonna of the Carnation by Milanese painter Bernardino Luini. Dating to around 1515, the painting is now part of the Samuel H. Kress Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. The stamp art is considered a "detail" of the painting, since the original photograph was slightly cropped on all four sides to fit the stamp format.
Issue date: 25 October 2007