In early October, the Ufficio Filatelico e Numismatico of San Marino presented its latest numismatic issue: a coin set with two 2 euro commemorative coins in proof finishing, dedicated to the 450th anniversary of the birth of Caravaggio and the 550th anniversary of the birth of Albrecht Dürer.
The coin set consists of the 1, 2 and 5 cent coins in copper plated steel, 10, 20 and 50 cent coins in Nordic gold, the 1 and 2 euro coins in cupro-nickel and nickel-brass and two 2 euro commemorative coins dedicated to Caravaggio and Dürer in proof finishing. The coin set appears in a mintage of 2,400 pieces.
The first 2€ commemorative coin is dedicated to Caravaggio. Michelangelo Merisi was born in 1571 in Caravaggio, a village near Milan. Troubled and afflicted painter, he was a genius who profoundly revolutionized the history of art, introducing the study of the truth and the violent use of light as a metaphor of God’s grace. The obverse of the 2 euro coin issued on the occasion of the 450th anniversary of the birth of Caravaggio shows the penitent Magdalene, taken from the homonymous work kept at the prestigious Galleria Doria Pamphilj in Rome. Denied her previous frivolous life, the girl opens to divine grace with her hands gently laid on her lap and the jewels left on the ground next to the jar of unguent. The only ray of light that cuts across the canvas anticipates the dramatizations of the painter’s mature phase, which will influence all subsequent European painting.
The second 2€ commemorative coin celebrates Albrecht Dürer. Born in Nuremberg in 1471, Albrecht Dürer was an engraver, draftsman, painter and treatise writer. He became the highest representative of the art and culture of the Northern European Renaissance, thanks to the predominance of graphic expression, including drawing, from composition to study from life, to landscape, to portrait. The obverse of the 2 euro coin dedicated to the 550th anniversary of the artist’s birth shows the Madonna and Child, a detail taken from the famous painting of the same name of 1526, kept at the Gallerie degli Uffizi in Florence. From the dark background emerges the figure of the Virgin carrying a pear in her hand and holding Baby Jesus in her arms. A strong sense of family intimacy pervades the work, characterized by attention to detail and faithful reproduction of reality, distinctive features of Dürer’s art.
The two coins commemorating two historical and cultural events of extraordinary international importance complete the 2021 coin set in proof version.
Further information about the coins can be found on the website of the San Marino Philatelic and Numismatic Office.
More issues from San Marino have already been added to our online archive Cosmos of Collectibles.
If you do not want to miss out on any new issues, subscribe to the Cosmos of Collectibles newsletter, which is published every two weeks.
The 2 euro commemorative coins on Albrecht Dürer can be found among the other new issues of San Marino.
If you are a real fan of the coins of this small country you should consider a visit to San Marino’s new museum for coins and more.