Previati’s Via Crucis at Saint Peter’s: art and faith for the season of Lent
From 4 March, first Friday of Lent, Saint Peter’s Basilica will welcome the faithful and tourists with the exceptional temporary placement of the intense Via Crucis painted by Gaetano Previati (1852-1920).
All fourteen large canvases painted in 1902 by the Ferrara-born artist – and the subject of a recent and accurate restoration in the laboratories of the Pope’s Museums – will leave the Contemporary Art Collection of the Vatican Museums, where they are currently conserved, to be installed for the first time in a sacred space and displayed for public devotion during the entire Lenten and Easter period, until 20 April.
The sequence of paintings of Previati’s Via Crucis underlines the theme of the pain and the Passion of Christ not only through the imposing, tragic and monumental figure of the Saviour, but also through the pressing chromatic rhythm and the luministic trajectory that involves the succession of the images from the first painting up to the darkness of the final one, in which the tragedy takes place.
This exceptional artistic and spiritual initiative was made possible thanks to the fruitful and by now consolidated collaboration between the Fabric of Saint Peter and the Vatican Museums.