Friday, 27 March 2015

From swap to official

An Anniversary Postcard
7 Jan 2015 | From Patricia of UAE

There is an interesting story behind this postcard. I received my first postcard from the United Arab Emirates last January 2014. It was from Patricia who I met in the (unofficial) Postcrossing Facebook page. The postcard was actually unexpected as I thought Patricia was from the US. Though I was expecting the UAE Burqas postcard as it was the one I picked from her online collection, I was pleasantly surprised to have received it written and stamped from the UAE.

When this postcard arrived today - I was wondering if the sender was the same Patricia I made a swap with a year ago. I rummaged through my postcard collection in search for that particular postcard. I've compared the handwriting - and though there were slight differences, I was quite convinced that she is the same person. My sister and friend told me otherwise - they think the postcards were from different persons. I've realized I should have just checked the Postcrossers from UAE as there were only a few and hope that she have a actual picture in her profile - then I can finally confirm if she is indeed the same Patricia. But I've registered the postcard first anyway and excitedly wrote her the 'story'. 

Upon the successful postcard registration, I checked her profile - she is indeed the same Patricia! What's even more interesting is that both postcards were written by her on the 1st of December. She dated the swap-card 1 December 2014, and she wrote the official postcard she sent me 1 December 2015. It's like an Anniversary postcard!

Patricia replied to my e-mail, and she was both happy and surprised about this as much as I do. What a small world,  she told me. Then she made this cool idea of writing and sending me a postcard on December 1st of every year to sort of keep this 'tradition' going. A lot may happen on a span of one year - forgotten postcards, lost postcards, and the like - but I am definitely happy for these two that I have.

The postcard shows a painting by Jacques-Louis David titled 'The Death of Marat'. Jacques-Louis David was an influential French painter in the Neoclassical style, considered to be the preeminent painter of the era. Jean-Paul Marat, one of the most passionate leaders of the French Revolution, was a personal friend of David. He was stabbed to death in his bath, and this powerful image commemorates his murder. David has included only the most important elements to tell the story: the limp body, the bloody wound, the murder weapon, and the letter which the murderer used to gain admission to the house. The bright lighting and contrasting plain, dark background highlight these details.

David denounced the flowery Rococo style of the previous generation and led a return to Classical ideals. These were expressed with realism, a strong sense of composition, and crisp handling of paint. David was also an active political revolutionary. He voted for the execution of Louis XVI and was an ardent supporter of Napoleon, whom he painted a number of times.

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