José Joaquim Cesário Verde (1855–1886) was Portugal’s first great realist poet, not shunning themes that were considered banal or of poor taste. His poems deal with poverty, moral decay, ennui and disease, contrasting the corruption and decadence of cities to the fertile and beautiful countryside. He employed a naturalist and impressionist style in his poetry. Although admired by some literary figures during his lifetime, his work was largely ignored. His poetic talent was recognised by major Portuguese modernist writers in the early 20th century, and his reputation as a major poet is firmly established nowadays. He only published 40 poems in his short life, ended by tuberculosis.
The stamps were designed by Júlio Gil, lithographed by the Mint on enamelled paper sheets of 10×10 1$00 stamps and 5×10 3$30 stamps with perforation 13½, and circulated from 12 December 1957 to 31 August 1960.