Revealed: Pope Benedict’s Official Vatican Portrait

Master artist Igor V. Babailov, M.F.A. has completed the new official portrait of HIs Holiness Benedict XVI (see photo of the painting above), entitled: “The Truth, The Way and The Life: A Portrait of His Holiness Pope Benedict XVI,” Oil on Canvas, 72″ x 48″ ( 183 cm x 122 cm ).

I love it. It’s rather stunning. I would have opted away from the statue of Christ in the background and featured only the Holy Father on a dark background. Nonetheless, it’s well done.

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  • david

    I agree that its stunning but I’m disappointed. Its just not him. It looks like someone else wearing his skin.

  • teresa

    Don’t like it.

  • tess

    I do not think Our Lord or Our Lady would think the sculpture Of Christ was fitting in this work, however the Holy Father is quite beautiful.

  • Alan

    his hand are too small. for that matter so are those of Christ. B16 looks amazing in it, but there is a lack of balance in the composition between Christ and the Pope.

  • Deacon Greg Kandra

    A commenter at my blog thought the homoerotic connotations were a bit much — and I have to say, he has a point.  Seeing the prayerful pontiff beside a nearly nude Christ is, in a word, weird. 

  • Cody

    What’s wrong with the statue? I think it accurately describes the relationship between the authority of Christ and the authority of the Pope.

    I should hope you’re not referencing the fabric placement, because crucifixes since the 1100’s (and likely earlier) were giving similar portrayals in that regard.

  • Leslie Cooper

    Say wha???  “Homoerotic”?  “Tiny hands”?  🙁  What is wrong with some of you?

    That portrait is beautiful.  The Holy Father looks intelligent and thoughtful and sensitive.

  • Antoinette

    I don’t like it, too stilted.  He does not come across as the great teacher he is.  He has a soft smile in person, a gentle but fearless teacher – it is not in this painting.

  • Mark Wainwright

    People who have no artistic abilities seem to be the art critics.

  • Peter

    I don’t think the likeness is a dead ringer, but it is good.  Someone in the Church needs to start an art competition with a serious prize to encourage artists to create beautiful works once again.  I believe a lot of these artists who are trying to create traditional artwork today would be a lot better if there were other artists to compete against.