Naszarkowski's papal work

I couldn't tell you whether his interest is religious, patriotic, philatelic or merely artistic, but there is a bit of a papal theme running through Piotr Naszarkowski's more recent work. Having just acquired some wonderful proofs, I though I'd share some of those with you.

We're starting off with the Polish pope John Paul II. In 2014, a joint issue appeared in Poland and Vatican City, to mark the pope's canonisation. It is a fantastically engraved likeness of the pope, and therefore would rank highly among Naszarkowski's portrait work.

While the two sheets seem identical at first glance, they are anything but. Take a closer look at the 'halo' around the pope's head. It consists of a text which I presume to be some prayer of sorts. While the text on the Vatican City stamp is in  Latin, the words on the Polish stamp are in Polish. So it's really worth it to get both of them, if you're interested.

Naszarkowski has engraved this pope's portrait much more often, but not on stamps as far as I know. They are more private works, or maybe they've been commissioned. I haven't got any of these, however I do have an engraved 'label' of another pope, Benedict XVI. He was John Paul II's successor. This one dates from 2005, the year he became pope.

In 2008, Vatican City issued two stamps marking this pope's apostolic journeys in 2007. The 65c stamp shows him in Brazil and the 85c in Austria. These too were engraved by Naszarkowski but as they were printed in a combination of recess and litho, the end result is not very pleasing. They are darkish stamps which do not show up the engravings well at all.

The proofs, however, are of the engravings only, and as such show the quality of the work much better. So I'm rather glad I was able to lay my hands on them!