Images of the Christmas stamps have been released.

Royal Mail alternates between religious and secular designs. This year is a religious year, so there are seven values featuring the Madonna and Child issued on November 5.

There will also be two values designed by schoolchildren, revealed on October 31.

One of the new Madonna and Child stamps, the £1.88, is a new commission. Coptic artist Fadi Mikhail was asked to produce an icon for the 2013 issue.

The other stamps are details from La Vierge au Lys by William-Adolphe Bouguereau, on the £1.28, and St Roch Praying to the Virgin for an End to the Plague on the 88p

As usual, the 1st Large and 2nd Large stamps are larger details of the same design, so the two 1st class stamps are from Virgin and Child with the young St John the Baptist by Antoniazzo Romano and the two 2nd class from Madonna and Child by Francesco Granacci.

The stamps were designed by Robert Maude and Sarah Davies and printed by De La Rue.

The seven stamps are also available in a gummed miniature sheet, while Mikhail explains Coptic art and how the Neo-Coptic icon was created for the final stamp in the presentation pack. The pack's cover image is taken from a preparatory drawing for Madonna and Child with Two Angels by Filippo Lippi.

1st class and 2nd class retail books of twelve will be issued, and there are five Smilers: a generic sheet, 88p sheet of ten, £1.28 sheet of ten, 1st class sheet of ten and 2nd class sheet of 20.