March 10, 2013

0548 CHILE (La Araucanía) - Villarrica volcano

Known also as Rucapillán, which in Mapuche means "House of the Pillán", Villarrica is one of Chile's most active volcanoes, rising above the lake and town of the same name, in the Chilean Central Valley. It's one of only five volcanoes worldwide known to have an active lava lake within its crater, and usually generates strombolian eruptions, with ejection of incandescent pyroclasts and lava flows. Melting of snow and glacier ice as well as rainfalls often cause massive lahars (mud and debris flows), such as during the eruptions of 1964 and 1971.

With an elevation of 2,847m, Villarrica has its upper part permanently covered by snow, and also glaciers, which lost 25% of their surface between 1961 and 2003. Along with Quetrupillán and the Chilean portion of Lanín, is protected within Villarrica National Park. Ascents of the volcano are popular with several guided ascents reaching the top during summer. The picture from the postcard was taken from the countryside around Pucón, a little city located on the eastern side of Lake Villarrica, a major centre of adventure tourism in Chile.

About the stamps
The first two stamps, depicting a manicero (Peanut Vendor) and a organillero (organ player), are part of the series Personajes Típicos Chilenos (Chilean Traditional Characters), about which I wrote here.

The following two, showing Lyon Palace and Polanco Palace, belongs to the Valparaíso, Patrimonio de la Humanidad, about which I wrote here.

The fifth stamp is part of a series of four, about Rapa Nui Takona Body Painting, about which I wrote here.

Foyer du moi - 3rd stamp
Ensenar la eternidad - 2nd stamp
La vida Allende la Muerte - 1st and 3rd stamp

The last one is part of a very special series, issued on March 26, 2008, containing not less than 27 stamps, divided into three sets of nine, each set forming a 3x3 block of stamps and illustrating a painting by Roberto Matta, one of Chile's best-known painters. The three paintings are:

Espejo de Cronos / 1981 (9x$410)
Foyer du moi / 1995 (9x$410) - one of the nine stamps is on this postcard 
Ensenar la eternidad / 1990 (9x$280) - one of the nine stamps is on other postcard  

In the same year, on September 15, Correos de Chile has issued another set of nine stamps, illustrating the painting "La vida Allende la Muerte" (the 1st stamp here, and the 3rd stamp here).

This is a post for Sunday Stamps #113, run by Viridian from Viridian’s Postcard Blog. The theme of this week is Abstract designs. Click on the button to visit Viridian’s blog and all the other participants.

Villarrica (volcano) - Wikipedia
Paintings by Chilean Artist Matta - UPU official website

sender: Hernán (direct swap)
sent from Santiago (Chile), on 20.08.2012


  1. Wow those last stamps are special. Just a small piece of a painting can be abstract but the whole painting is also abstract! Lovely however.
    Thank you for joining in.

  2. I like the idea behind the Matta stamps, what fun you could have with these and mail art.

  3. Fascinating stamps - hard to be more abstract than these.