The 350th Anniversary from the Death of Melchiorre Gafa


Malta – Sculptor Melchiorre Gafa’, also known as Melchiorre Cafa’ was a Maltese sculptor renowned for his Roman baroque style. Born in 1636 in Vittoriosa, Gafa’ was the elder brother of successful local sculptor, Lorenzo Gafa’.

Gafa’ reached the pinnacle of his career in Rome in 1658 after joining the workshop of Ercole Ferrata. While in Rome, he was commissioned to sculpt various works, such as the altarpiece of the Martyrdom of St Eustace in the church of Sant’Agnese in Agone. Unfortunately, on 4 September 1667, at the young age of 31, Gafa’s life was cut short. Most of his unfinished works where then concluded by Ercole Ferrata.

This stamp issue depicts five of Gafa’s works in wax, currently on display at the Mdina Cathedral Museum.

La Gloria Di Santa Rosa Da Lima
The 20c stamp features the bozzetto of La Gloria Di Santa Rosa da Lima which depicts St. Rose of Lima being crowned by cherubs with a garland of roses.

La Gloria Di Santa Caterina Da Siena
The 42c stamp features the bozzetto of La Gloria di Santa Caterina Da Siena which depicts St. Catherine of Siena gazing upwards while suspended on a blanket of clouds.

The 51c stamp features the bozzetto the Annunciation of the Blessed Virgin Mary illuminated by rays of light.

L’Adorazione Dei Pastori
The 1.00 stamp features a section of the bozzetto of L’Adorazione dei Pastori and depicts the Blessed Virgin Mary holding Jesus.

La Natività
The 1.16 stamp features the bozzetto of The Nativity and depicts Jesus surrounded by Our Lady, Saint Joseph, an angel and other devotees.

Issue Date: 15.09.2017
Designer: Daniel Cilia Design: Sean Cini
Process: Offset
Size: Sheet Size: 185mm x 115mm Stamp Size: 31mm x 44mm
Values: €0.20, €0.42, €0.51, €1.00, €1.16