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International competition for the realization of a Via Crucis for temporary exhibitions in the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican

The Fabric of Saint Peter in the Vatican announces an international Competition for the realization of an artistic representation in painting – a Via Crucis in fourteen stations – destined for temporary exhibitions (not permanent) in the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican.

It is intended that the subjects of the fourteen stations should be the traditional ones:


1)      Jesus is condemned to death;

2)      Jesus is made to bear his cross;

3)      Jesus falls for the first time;

4)      Jesus meets his Mother;

5)      Jesus is helped to carry the cross by Simon of Cyrene;

6)      Veronica wipes the face of Jesus;

7)      Jesus falls for the second time;

8)      Jesus encounters the women of Jerusalem;

9)      Jesus falls for the third time;

10)   Jesus is stripped of his garments;

11)   Jesus is nailed to the cross;

12)   Jesus dies on the cross;

13)   Jesus is taken down from the cross;

14)   Jesus is laid in the tomb.


Participation in the competition is free and open to candidates of any nationality who have reached the age of majority.

The fourteen stations of the Via Crucis should be painted, following the specifications indicated in this notice; the artists are free to choose the technique they wish to use.


In order to formalize their application for admission to the Competition, candidates must:


1)  fill in the form provided on the website dedicated to the competition, which will be accessible from 8 January 2024, via a special link from the institutional website of the Basilica of Saint Peter in Basilica in the Vatican (;


2)  send the following documents via the same form, in Pdf/A format:

a)      a brief Curriculum vitae (in Italian or English);

b)      a photographic book containing a selection of pictorial works of their creation (no more than 10), accompanied by brief captions and relevant technical information.


The final deadline for the submission of applications is 31 January 2024.


Candidates’ applications for admission will be subjected to curricular evaluation by an Examining Board, specifically appointed and chaired by the Fabric of Saint Peter.


By 15 March 2024, the Examining Board will express its opinion, and the Fabric of Saint Peter will send the selected candidates formal notification of admission to the Competition.

The artists admitted to the Competition must submit to the Fabric of Saint Peter:


a)     an original certificate of any criminal record and pending charges, or equivalent valid documentation, to be sent by email to the address at the bottom of this notice;

b)    a framed pictorial sketch measuring 50x50 cm, representing the twelfth station of the Via Crucis;

c)     a second graphic sketch of the same format, monochrome, in a clip frame, representing a different Station of the Cross, freely chosen by the artist.


The artists admitted to the Competition may deliver their sketches personally or by courier to the address provided at the end of this notice.


The deadline for receipt of sketches is 15 July 2024.


The Fabric shall not be held liable for any delays in the delivery of the sketches attributable to the courier or third parties, nor for any damage to them found upon receipt.


The sketches submitted by the artists admitted to the Competition will be presented at the Vatican in a private exhibition and will be submitted to the unquestionable assessment of the aforementioned Examining Board.


By 30 September 2024, the Fabric of Saint Peter will announce the winning project of the Competition on the institutional website of Saint Peter’s Basilica, and will formally confer upon the winning artist the commission to create the fourteen Stations of the Cross.


With the exception of the sketches made by the winning artist, all the others will be returned to their respective authors, who will have two months to collect them from the Fabric of Saint Peter.


Exceptionally, different modalities and times may be agreed upon for the return (the economic burden of which will in any case remain the responsibility of the authors), which may not take place after 28 February 2025.


Upon expiry of the above-mentioned deadlines, all sketches remaining in storage at the Fabric of Saint Peter will become the property of the Fabric of Saint Peter itself, which will be entitled to all rights and full use of the same, for the present and for the future, without any right to compensation and/or consideration for the participant, who renounces such right by participating in the competition.


Non-winning artists will receive a certificate of participation in the Competition.

The winning artist will receive a cash prize of 120,000 Euros (onehundredandtwentythousand/00 Euros) to be intended as a lump sum and not by measure.

The prize, thus established, is intended to be fixed and cannot be increased.

Payment of the prize shall be made by means of a down payment on the date of signing the commission (equal to 20,000 Euros) and full payment upon completion of the work after the final inspection. Any tax or social security charges inherent to participation in the competition and/or the relative prize are the sole responsibility of the winner, with the exclusion of any liability on the part of the Fabric of Saint Peter.


In return, the artist will issue to the Fabric of Saint Peter:


1)    A certificate of authenticity of the Via Crucis, with specific reference to the fourteen paintings on canvas, to be produced in the 130x130 cm format, on a Douglas wood stretcher frame, without frame;

2)    A formal deed of unconditional assignment of the Via Crucis, including the relative rights of use and exploitation of the work, without any constraint whatsoever, to the Fabric of Saint Peter in the Vatican;

3)    A similar deed of assignment of the two sketches already sent during the Competition.

The deadline for delivery of the Via Crucis, complete in all its parts, is set for 31 December 2025. This deadline shall be considered binding for the purposes of the payment of the cash prize.


This call for proposals is published on the website and shall be disseminated by any other means deemed useful.


This call for proposals is governed exclusively by the laws in force in the Vatican City State. Any dispute that may arise regarding the execution, interpretation, validity or efficacy of this notice, including throughout the entire competition process, shall be submitted exclusively to the Vatican City State Tribunal.


The Via Crucis will be exhibited for the first time in the Papal Basilica of Saint Peter in the Vatican from 18 February 2026, during the Lenten period.


Reference Addresses


Institutional site of Saint Peter’s Basilica:

Fabric of Saint Peter in the Vatican

Largo della Sagrestia, s.n.c.

00120 Vatican City


13 December 2023