First stamps commemorating Dutch writers presented to Couperus Society in Couperus Museum

Portraits honour top authors from Dutch literature

The Hague – Earlier today in the museum, Robin Boon, Corporate Communications director at PostNL, presented Petra Teunissen-Nijsse, president of the Couperus Society (Dutch: Couperus Genootschap) and Caroline de Westenholz, chairman of the foundation Louis Couperus Museum in The Hague, with the first stamps commemorating Dutch writers. The sheet comprises ten stamps bearing the portraits of five famous Dutch writers: Louis Couperus, Adriaan Roland Holst, Godfried Bomans, Simon Carmiggelt and Gerrit Kouwenaar. The stamps pay homage to these writers and feature typical quotes and pithy sayings. The five were not only selected for their literary status, but also because 2013 marks a special birthday for each of the authors. The Louis Couperus Society has also nominated 2013 as Louis Couperus Jubilee Year.

“The five authors appearing on the stamps form the basis for contemporary Dutch literature. For PostNL, it was therefore natural to honour them with their own stamp in their special anniversary year,” says Robin Boon, Corporate Communications director.

Characteristic portraits in pastel shades

Each author has been given his own pastel shade: old rose for Couperus (born 150 years ago), sea blue for Roland Holst (born 125 years ago), pale orange for Bomans (born 100 years ago), light green for Carmiggelt (born 100 years ago) and ochre for Kouwenaar (born 90 years ago). The portraits are illustrations in one colour based on photos. From the many photos, the most characteristic elements of the authors' faces were chosen.

Powerful texts

Designer Herman van Bostelen had already produced two business stamps for PostNL in 2002. However, designing these portraits of Dutch writers was a completely new experience for him. "I was obviously familiar with the authors and I've got some of their books at home. But I started to read other of their works too. Looking for texts which really reflected who they were but which were powerful enough to stand alone and were meaningful to people without previous knowledge of the authors as well. The colour blocks refer to book covers. By not limiting the blocks to the stamps themselves, I've incorporated more rhythm in the sheet. It reminds you of the tables in bookshops, topped with books of all kinds of formats.”


The stamps are available as long as stocks last in Bruna bookshops, the Collect Club and online via and are valid indefinitely. The stamps bear the words Nederland 1, intended for mail up to 20 grams to a destination within the Netherlands.

2013-05-22 Aanbieden postzegelvel literair auteurs 1

2013-05-22 Aanbieden postzegelvel literair auteurs 2

2013-05-22 Postzegelvel literair auteurs