August 15, 2015

1822 SWEDEN (Stockholm) - Vädersolstavlan

Vädersolstavlan (The Sun Dog Painting) is an oil-on-panel painting depicting a halo display observed over Stockholm on April 20, 1535, and was named so after the sun dogs (Swedish: Vädersol, "Weather sun") appearing on the upper right part of the painting. It is the oldest depiction of Stockholm in colour, but also the oldest Swedish landscape painting and the oldest depiction of sun dogs. Sun dogs (scientific name parhelia - singular parhelion), are an atmospheric phenomenon that consists of a pair of bright spots on either side on the Sun, often co-occurring with a luminous ring known as a 22° halo, created by light interacting with ice crystals in the atmosphere.

The original painting, which was produced shortly after the event and traditionally attributed to Urban Målare (Urban [the] Painter), is lost, and virtually nothing is known about it. However, a copy from 1636 by  Jacob Heinrich Elbfas held in Storkyrkan in Stockholm, is believed to be an accurate copy and was until recently erroneously thought to be the restored original. The painting was commissioned by the Swedish reformer Olaus Petri, and the resulting controversies between him and King Gustav Vasa and the historical context remained a well-kept secret for centuries. During the 20th century the painting became an icon for the history of Stockholm, and it is now frequently displayed whenever the history of the city is commemorated.

The medieval urban conglomeration, today part of the old town Gamla stan, is rendered using a bird's-eye view.  The painting is centred on the Storkyrkan church, as it must have appeared when Gustav Vasa became king. Immediately behind is Tre Kronor castle, destroyed by fire in 1697 and subsequently replaced by the Stockholm Palace. The islet in the left foreground, today known as Riddarholmen (Knights' Islet), was during the medieval era known as Gråmunkeholmen (Greyfriars Islet) after the Franciscan monastery located there. Just behind it is the islet of Helgeandsholmen, where the northern city gate and defensive wall were located. The two defensive towers of the southern city gate appearing in the left foreground (today the Slussen area).

About the stamp
The stamp is part of a series of seven stamps depicting bees, issued on 26. March, 2015, and designed by Emmelie Golabiewski.

Vädersolstavlan - Wikipedia

Senders: Ona Frantz and Michael Haulică
Sent from Stockholm (Stockholm / Sweden), on 31.07.2015

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