Wednesday, 6 November 2013

CINOVSKY, Martin

Martin Cinovsky was born in 1953, in Czechoslovakian Levoča, which is now in Slovakia. From a young age, his schooling was aimed at the arts and from 1971 to 1977 he studied at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, where the famous stamp designer Professor Albin Brunovsky was his mentor.
Further education followed in France, where he studied at the Ecole Nationale Supérieure des Arts Décoratifs in Paris from 1979 to 1984. While there, he specialised in  graphic art for postage stamps. During this time, Cinovsky also obtained an internship at France’s state printers.

Although starting out as a freelance artist and later as a professor himself at the Academy of Fine Arts in Bratislava, it is no surprise to see that Cinovsky soon ended up designing and engraving stamps for Czechoslovakia. His first stamp dates from 1986, marking the Women’s World Volleyball Championship in Prague. The following years, Cinovsky was able to engrave a good number of stamps and first day cover illustrations, but it was not until the break-up of Czechoslovakia that his career really took off.

Cinovsky was given the honour to design and engrave the first stamps of the newly founded Slovak Republic. Two values depicting the State Arms were issued in January 1993. This was soon followed by a definitive design portraying President Kovac. In the two subsequent decades Cinovsky has worked on over 150 stamps, making him one of the most important engravers in Slovakia. His work has topped public polls in quite a few years, right from the very beginning in 1993. And recognition from more official quarters, such as the Ministry of Transport, Posts and Telecommunications, is also a regular feature on Cinovsky’s CV.

Abroad his work is recognised as well. In 2004, France awarded him the French Order of the Knight of Art and Letters, and in 2011 his monumental engraving of the miniature sheet issued to mark the 400th anniversary of the Zilina Synod, was chosen as the most beautifully engraved stamp in the European Union. A year later, that same stamp came third in the prestigious  ‘Grand Prix de l’Exposition’ in Vienna, which decides on the most beautiful stamp in the world.

Cinosvky commented at the time that when he first saw the design for this miniature sheet, he was really worried because he had never engraved something that detailed. The engraving took him several months, sometimes having to squeeze six to eight lines in a square millimetre. 

As it happens, Cinovsky was born in the same year the Czechoslovak Philatelic Society of Great Britain was founded. Both celebrated their fiftieth anniversary here in Britain at Stampex, which also happened to celebrate its fiftieth year. The CPSGB was the featured society at the exhibition and Cinovsky designed and engraved a special miniature sheet. The design incorporated the stamp he created for his one-time master Brunovsky, and his famous personal postmark, which always includes his age and his cardiograph.

Like Czechoslovakia in the past, Slovakia has maintained a great tradition of using engraved artwork on their official first day covers as well. This artwork would form a great sideline to a stamp engravers collection, with engravers being able to showcase their talent, whilst working on a larger format. For Cinovsky, it meant he could honour his master Brunovsky once again, by portraying him at work on the 1999 Stamp Day issue, which was a homage to the late artist and stamp designer.     


This article was first published in Stamp and Coin Mart of April 2014 and is reproduced with their kind permission. 
 
STAMPS

1986
Czechoslovakia, Volleyball championships

1987
Czechoslovakia, Book illustrations
Czechoslovakia, Bratislava

1988
Czechoslovakia, Cultural society
Czechoslovakia, Bratislava
Czechoslovakia, Art
Czechoslovakia, Stamp day

1989
Czechoslovakia, Anniversaries
Czechoslovakia, Book illustrations
Czechoslovakia, Bratislava
Czechoslovakia, Art

1990
Czechoslovakia, Anniversaries
Czechoslovakia, Bratislava
Czechoslovakia, Christmas

1991
Czechoslovakia, Beauty spots
Czechoslovakia, Hlinka
Czechoslovakia, Stamp day

1992
Czechoslovakia, Red cross
Czechoslovakia, Bratislava cathedral
Czechoslovakia, Education association

1993
Czech Republic, Birth anniversaries
Slovakia, First issue
Slovakia, Definitive
Slovakia, Michal Kovac
Slovakia, Anniversaries (two issues)
Slovakia, Arms of Dubnica nad Vahom
Slovakia, Canal
Slovakia, Christmas
Slovakia, Stefanik's tomb
Slovakia, Art

1994
Slovakia, Year of the family
Slovakia, Anniversaries (two issues)
Slovakia, Europa
Slovakia, No smoking day
Slovakia, IOC
Slovakia, Slovak uprising
Slovakia, National anthem
Slovakia, Christmas
Slovakia, Ships

1995
Slovakia, Anniversaries (two issues)
Slovakia, Landlords association
Slovakia, Papal visit
Slovakia, UNESCO
Slovakia, Book illustrations
Slovakia, Christmas

1996
Slovakia, Easter
Slovakia, Europa
Slovakia, Mammals
Slovakia, Mountain lakes
Slovakia, Technological monuments
Slovakia, Christmas

1997
Slovakia, Caves
Slovakia, National activists
Slovakia, Book illustrations
Slovakia, Constitution
Slovakia, Cernova massacre
Slovakia, Christmas
Slovakia, Spiritual regeneration

1998
Slovakia, Definitive
Slovakia, Writers' anniversaries
Slovakia, Castles
Slovakia, Spiritual renewal
Slovakia, Europa
Slovakia, Childrens centre
Slovakia, Christmas

1999
Croatia, Cardinal Juraj Haulik
Slovakia, Stamp Day
Slovakia, Anniversaries
Slovakia, Spiritual renewal
Slovakia, Europa
Slovakia, First Slovak cosmonaut

2000
Slovakia, Easter
Slovakia, Europa
Slovakia, First stamps
Slovakia, Rudolf Schuster
Slovakia, Holy year 2000

2001
Slovakia, Europa
Slovakia, Definitive
Slovakia, Alexander Dubcek
Slovakia, Art

2002
Slovakia, Definitive
Slovakia, Anniversaries
Slovakia, Master Paul from Levoca

2003
Slovakia, President Schuster definitive
Slovakia, Milan Stefanik
Slovakia, Matko and Kubko
Slovakia, Art
Slovakia, Stamp day (stamp and tab)

2005
Slovakia, President Ivan Gasparovic

2007
Slovakia, Museum's treasury

2008
Slovakia, Orchids

2009
Slovakia, Zofia Bosniakova
Slovakia, Romans, joint issue with Austria

2010
Slovakia, Karol Ondreicka (stamp only)
Slovakia, Zilina Synod
Slovakia, Europa

2011
Slovakia, €0.70 definitive
Slovakia, Dobsinska ice cave

2012
Slovakia, Tatra Park

2013
Slovakia, Definitive
Slovakia, Beauties of our homeland

2014
Slovakia, Stefan Osusky
Slovakia, Andrej Kiska definitive
Slovakia, Andrej Hlinka

2015
Slovakia, The Sul'ov rocks

STAMP-RELATED ITEMS BY YEAR

1988
Czechoslovakia, Mlada Fronta souvenir sheet

1993
Slovakia, FDC illustration first issue
Slovakia, FDC illustration President Kovac
Slovakia, FDC illustration Celebrities (3 versions)
Slovakia, FDC illustration Anniversaries
Slovakia, FDC illustration Arms
Slovakia, FDC illustration Canal
Slovakia, FDC illustration Christmas

1994
Slovakia, FDC illustration Europa
Slovakia, FDC illustration Slovak uprising (2 types)
Slovakia, FDC illustration National anthem
Slovakia, FDC illustration Christmas
Slovakia, FDC illustration Ships (2 types)

1995
Slovakia, FDC illustration Landlords association
Slovakia, FDC illustration Beauties of our homeland (3 types)
Slovakia, FDC illustration Book illustrations (2 types)
Slovakia, FDC illustration Christmas

1996
Slovakia, FDC illustration Easter
Slovakia, FDC illustration Mammals
Slovakia, FDC illustration Mountain lakes
Slovakia, FDC illustration Technological monuments
Slovakia, FDC illustration Christmas
Slovakia, FDC illustration Stamp day

1997
Slovakia, FDC illustration Activists
Slovakia, FDC illustration Caves (2 types)
Slovakia, FDC illustration Book illustrations
Slovakia, FDC illustration Christmas

1998
Slovakia, FDC illustration Castles (2 types)

1999
Slovakia, FDC illustration Europa
Slovakia, FDC illustration Stamp day

2000
Slovakia, FDC illustration President Schuster

2001
Slovakia, FDC illustration Art

2002
Slovakia, FDC illustration Art

2003
Great Britain, Stampex souvenir sheet
Slovakia, FDC illustration President Schuster
Slovakia, FDC illustration Matko and Bubko
Slovakia, FDC illustration Art

2007
Slovakia, FDC illustration Gospel book

2008
Slovakia, FDC illustration Orchids (2 types)

2009
Slovakia, FDC illustration Stamp day

2010
Slovakia, FDC illustration Zilina synod
Slovakia, FDC illustration Europa
Slovakia, FDC illustration Homeland beauties

2011
Slovakia, FDC illustration 70c definitive
Slovakia, FDC illustration Homeland beauties

AWARDS

Slovakia's Best Engraved Stamp (awarded by Ministry)

1995 - Ludovit Stur
1997 - Ochtinska cave
1999 - Stamp day
2001 - Easter
2010 - Zilina synod
2012 - Tatra Park

Slovakia's Most Beautiful Stamp (public poll)

1993 - Mohyla Stefanika
1995 - Ludovit Stur
1996 - Textorisova
1997 - Ochtinska cave
1999 - Tatra Park
2010 - Zilina synod

Slovakia's Most Beautiful Stamp (awarded by Slovak Post)

2010 - Zilina synod
2012 - Tatra Park
 
Grand Prix de l'Art Philatélique - EU (awarded in Brussels)

2011 - Zilina Synod

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