About the artist:
Known internationally as "La Janota", revered artist Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski sold her first commercial drawing at age 17. Since then, she has become one of Europe's most prolific graphic artists and a perennial favorite among both philatelists and art collectors worldwide. The designer of well over 25 postage stamps for the former Federal Republic of Germany, she designed her first stamp to commemorate "100 Years of the Telephone in Germany." In 1981, her design for the "Day of the Postal Stamp" was chosen internationally as the best stamp of the year. In addition to her stunning stamp designs and her profound success in the field of commercial graphics, von Janota-Bzowski is an accomplished portrait artist whose portrayals of world leaders and other prominent figures have graced the covers of magazines from Time to Germany's Der Spiegel. Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski is skilled in graphic design and had been successfully working in advertising before she became a stamp artist. She had worked for big national and international companies, such as Henkel, Burda and the hotel chain InterContinental. She also made pictorial contributions of well-known politicians for the covers of renowned magazines, such as the American Time Magazine and the German Spiegel. Apart from the German politician Franz Josef Strauss and the first chancellor of FRG, Konrad Adenauer, she also portrayed former US President Ford and US Foreign Minister Kissinger. Her parents had realized very early that she was interested and talented in art. At the age of ten she had lessons in drawing and painting, as a young 17-year-old teenager she sold her first drawings. Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski was born in Kiel and lives now in Düsseldorf in Germany and is well-known. She is often just called “the Janota”. Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski’s career as a stamp artist began in the 70‘s. The appeal of her portrayals of famous German personalities, such as the writers Johann Wolfgang von Goethe and the brothers Grimm or the composer Johannes Brahms, lies in their fidelity to detail and strong expression. Janota-Bzowski had thereby created unique designs. Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski thoroughly researches her subject prior to drawing. With regard to the stamp featuring the portrait of poet and writer Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (“Faust”) in 1982 she portrayed him as young man. Her inspiration came from a copy of a painting of Faust, which Duchess Anna Amalia of Brunswick-Wolfenbüttel gave Goethe’s mother in the 18th century to express her gratitude for the Duchess’s hospitality Though she mainly drew portraits, she also liked to illustrate scenarios. The image of a Prussian post office, for which she received an award and was chosen as the most beautiful stamp both at a national and international level in 1981, is her most famous scenario. Only one year later, her stamp "400 years Gregorian calendar” again scooped the national award titel for 1982. Almost as famous as her scene at the post office are her designs of a dancing couple – one in a Frisian traditional costume, the other in a Black Forest costume. These stamps show her unique talent to draw a concise picture though only having limited space. This working method shows her ability to create art on a high level. Both European Stamps have been depicted in Canadian text books. She received a high international reputation as an artist after having produced a lithograph of a white horse symbolizing peace. Her design was published as a special stamp together with the pictures of the famous artist Salvador Dali and Joan Miró. According to Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski, a horse possesses special qualities: strength, a peace-loving nature, loyalty in dangerous situations, endurance and companionship. She described it as a good ethical example and therefore chose the horse. Still today Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski is called the Grande Dame of advertising art. She herself has once described her stamp art: “A stamp is a little poster, and a poster is a telegram. The message has to be understood immediately, fast and completely. That’s why the job is always the same: To create the topic as catchy as possible.” Amongst others, a stirring stamp is her portrayal of the German composer Johannes Brahms she created in 1983. Brahms, who spent much of his professional life in Vienna in Austria, died 1897. Her picture is based on a photograph which had been shot in Vienna when he was 34 years old.
Known internationally as "La Janota", revered artist Elisabeth von Janota-Bzowski sold her first commercial drawing at age 17. Since then, she has become one of Europe's most prolific graphic artists and a perennial favorite among both philatelists