The Adoration of the Magi - one of the most popular themes for Christmas stamp issues

October 30th, 2015

Christmas is coming and Postal Services from around the world began to issue bright and inspiring stamp issues that attract attention of stamp collectors worldwide. is glad to introduce a new stamp issue by Slovenia Post that depicts the famous picture by Janez Šubic “The Adoration of the Magi”.

The B-rate stamp shows a classic Christmas scene: the Three Kings or Three Wise Men of the Orient have come, bearing gifts, to pay homage to the newborn Christ child. Jesus is held in the arms of his mother Mary and the Magi are disposed in front of him in various attitudes. The first kneels before him, the second removes his crown in greeting and the third waits in the background with his gift. This sandstone relief comes from the famous pilgrimage church in Ptujska Gora, one of the jewels of Gothic architecture in Slovenia, and dates from the 14th century.

The Adoration of the Magi was painted in 1877 by Janez Šubic (Poljane nad Škofjo Loko 1850 – Kaiserslautern, Germany 1889). The picture is kept in the National Gallery in Ljubljana. Šubic gained his first experience of drawing and painting – along with a thorough grounding in discipline and painting technique – in his father's painting workshop. He then studied with Janez Wolf, who introduced him to the work of the modern, trained artist. Wolf directed him to study in Venice, where he enrolled in the academy. Taking a break from his studies he travelled to Vienna, after which he visited a number of other Italian cities before continuing his studies in Rome.

He lived for a long period in Vienna while also establishing a reputation at home. Acquaintances from Bohemia helped him win important commissions in Prague. He also worked with his two brothers – both of them painters like him. In Kaiserslautern (Germany) he took up a post as professor of decorative painting at the art museum school, and lived there until his death.

Despite living in Germany he frequently returned home and also visited other German cities. Janez Šubic elevated Slovene religious painting to a European level of quality. He was also a fine draughtsman and watercolourist.