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Coronation of Our Lady of Trakai
300th Anniversary.
Regina Lituaniae

International Ex Libris Competition 2018

The Trakai Church of the Visitation of the blessed Virgin Mary is famous for the painting of Our Lady of Trakai that gave birth to a deep-rooted tradition to perceive Lithuania as a land safeguarded by Mary. The painting is adorned with crowns, covered with artistic bindings and is surrounded with numerous votive offerings, providing evidence that this image of the Mother of God has been attracting pilgrims for ages ago.

The painting of the Mother of God, reknown for miracles and graces as of the 16th century, is associated with the name of the Grand Duke Vytautas. At the beginning of the 18th century, an inscription was made on the back side of the picture testifying it was given to Vytautas on the occasion of his baptism by the Byzantine emperor Emanuel II Palaeologus (1391-1425). According to the record, it was an icon of the Nicopeia (Greek - victorious), which helped Emperor John Comnenos (1087-1143) to break the Persian siege and successfully return to Constantinople. Although there is no historical data about the role of Vytautas in the acquisition of this painting by the Trakai church, it is known that the painting was respected by both Catholic and Orthodox Christians and even by local Muslims, subordinate to Vytautas. Most probably, this inscription appeared before 1718, when the miraculous painting became the first one in the Grand Duchy of Lithuania that was granted the crowns by Pope Clement XI and awarded the devotional title of Health of the Sick.

In 2018, there will be a celebration of the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the painting of Our Lady of Trakai – the guardian of Lithuania. This follows the announcement in 2017 of the Trakai Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary as a Basilica. More about painting (read from page 55).

Virgilijus Poviliūnas, director of the Trakai History Museum, invites artists and creators of small graphic artworks from around the world to take part in an ex libris competition dedicated to the 300th anniversary of the coronation of the Trakai Mother of God painting.

Competition rules

The bookplates may belong to a real person or institution. Every bookplate must carry the obligatory inscription ‘EX LIBRIS. REGINA LITUANIAE - 300’ and the full name of the owner of the ex libris: an institution or individual person. In cases where only the initials of the individual person are indicated on the ex libris, his or her full name should be written on the reverse side. Ex libris could be dedicated to:

Clemens XI

Vytautas Rūkas

Jonas Varaneckas

Trakų bazilika

Trakų istorijos muziejus (TIM)

Bookplates that do not include the obligatory inscription and the full name of the institution or individual person that owns the ex libris will not be allowed to participate in the competition or the exhibition of the bookplates.

The maximum length of the longer edge (print) of the ex libris should be 150 mm. Bookplates must be created using a traditional graphic technique. Works created using a computer will not be accepted. Bookplates will be accepted only when accompanied by a completed competition entry form. The entry form can be downloaded from the website    ENTRY FORM

Five (5) signed copies of every bookplate print. On the reverse side of the bookplate should be written the full name of the author, their home address and information about the bookplate: the year of its creation, the graphic technique used and the bookplate’s dimensions. Competition bookplates must be received by 1 May 2018 at the following address:

International Bookplate Competition

Trakai History Museum

Kęstučio 4,

LT–21104 Trakai, Lithuania


The competition jury will evaluate each ex libris submitted for the competition. Ex libris for the exhibition, catalogue and awards will be selected from the bookplates that conform to the terms of the competition.

The winners of the competition will be awarded the following prizes

1st Prize: 500,00 euros.

2nd Prize: 300,00 euros.

3rd Prize: 200,00 euros.

Authors of the selected bookplates will receive the exhibition catalogue free of charge. By the decision of the jury, authors of bookplates of high artistic value may be awarded prizes, presents and diplomas, established by the organiser or the sponsors.

The organiser, Trakai History Museum, will retain all entries. The organiser retains the right to publish bookplates received for the competition, and to use them for the purposes of advertisement and publishing without the payment of royalties to their authors. An exhibition of the competition bookplates will be held in Trakai Island Castle during July and August 2018. The results of the competition will be announced on the website

Organiser of the competition

Trakai History Museum,

Kęstučio g. 4, LT–21104 Trakai,


Partners of the competition

Trakai District Municipality

Trakai Art School

Parson of the Trakai Church of the Visitation of the Blessed Virgin Mary, priest Jonas Varaneckas

Curators of the competition

Vidas Alvikas,


Ph. +370 528 55286

Giedrė Senulienė,