Former President George W. Bush unveiled a round of paintings on Friday, in an interview with his daughter Jenna Bush Hager on the “Today” show.
Bush’s paintings are part of an exhibit at the George Bush Presidential Library and Museum titled “The Art of Leadership: A President’s Personal Diplomacy.” The exhibit will feature portraits of 24 world leaders — all of whom Bush said have never seen their portraits.
The new exhibit will feature Bush’s painting of Russian President Vladimir Putin:
Bush told an anecdote of when Putin “dissed” his Scottish terrier, Barney. During one trip to Russia, Putin showed Bush his dog, a massive hound. Bush said anyone who thinks “my dog is bigger than your dog” is an “interesting character,” and he tried to reflect that in the painting.
“Vladimir is a person who in many ways viewed America as an enemy. I tried, of course, to dispel him of that notion,” Bush said.
Here’s former British Prime Minister Tony Blair:
Bush said it conveys a strong and “passionate” person, as well as a “reliable friend.”
Here’s Liberian President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf:
Hamid Karzai, president of Afghanistan:
And the Dalai Lama:
Bush said his favourite portrait was the one he painted of his father, President George H.W. Bush. “I painted a gentle soul,” he said, adding that he teared up a bit while painting his father.
Former First Lady Barbara Bush, however, doesn’t plan on being profiled by her son.
“Absolutely not,” she said, when asked if she’d sit down for a portrait.
Here’s the clip, from NBC:
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