This is the second in a series of issues commemorating the birth or death anniversaries of important Portuguese political, scientific, and artistic figures.
The jesuit Father António Vieira (1608-1697) was one of the greatest preachers and orators of his time. His written output, including over 200 sermons, is considered among the greatest prose in Portuguese language. He used his oratory powers to advocate for several political and economic reforms. He was also a missionary and diplomat.
Although a landowner of noble lineage, politician José Relvas (1858-1929) was a republican. He proclaimed the Portuguese Republic on 5 October 1910 from the balcony of Lisbon’s Town Hall and became Finance Minister (1910-11) of the first government. He led one of the many short-lived governments, being Prime Minister and Minister of the Interior for two months in 1919.
Doctor Ricardo Jorge (1858-1939) was the main responsible for introducing a new perspective on public health in Portugal. The Central Institute for Hygiene is created in 1899 following his proposal, and he becomes its director from 1902 to 1926. The Institute is now the National Health Institute Dr. Ricardo Jorge and is Portugal’s official health observatory and reference lab.
Mathematician Mira Fernandes (1884-1958) was one of the few students who didn’t ask for a Government pardon for their participation in the student strike at the University of Coimbra in 1907. He thereby was awarded a fail grade, but he resit all exams the next year with distinction. He obtained his degree in 1910, and a PhD and a full professorship in 1911.
Painter Vieira da Silva (1908-1992) started lessons at Lisbon’s Fine Arts Academy when she was 11. From the late 1940s on she lived in Paris. The first woman to be awarded the French Grand Prix National des Arts, she also received the Legion of Honour. Many of her and her husband’s paintings can be seen in Lisbon, in the Foundation named after them.
Manoel de Oliveira (1908- ) is the world’s oldest still active film director. He also wrote and edited many of the over 50 films and documentaries he directed. His movies have obtained several awards in various film festivals, including a 1999 Jury Prize at Cannes, and he has received several lifetime achievement and career awards.
The stamps were designed by André Carrilho, lithographed by Cartor on enamelled paper sheets of 5×10 stamps with perforation 13¾, and issued on 18 April 2008.