George W. Bush painted portrait of John Boehner
WASHINGTON — Former President George W. Bush painted a portrait of former House Speaker John Boehner as a gift for his retirement from Congress, a spokesman confirmed to CNN on Friday
David Schnittger, a spokesman for Boehner, told CNN the portrait was a gift before he resigned from Congress in 2015 and that it will not be hung as an official portrait in the speaker’s lobby located in the US Capitol.
Podcast host Uncle Chaps said in a tweet on Friday that Boehner revealed the painting during an interview with Barstool Sports and included a photo of the portrait.
“He let us see something that no one else had before,” he tweeted. “When he was leaving the position of Speaker of the House, he asked President George W. Bush to paint his official portrait.”
Schnittger confirmed to CNN that the tweeted photo was of the painting.
“The portrait in the tweet was in fact painted for Speaker Boehner by President George W. Bush,” Schnittger said. “However, it is not the portrait that will be displayed in the US Capitol as Speaker Boehner’s official portrait. That is a different portrait, one which has not yet been unveiled.
“The portrait painted by President Bush, which means a great deal to Speaker Boehner, is hanging on the wall in the Speaker’s house in West Chester, Ohio.”
The portrait adds to a collection of paintings by Bush, including portraits of Russian President Vladimir Putin, the Dalai Lama and former British Prime Minister Tony Blair. Bush, who has been painting since he left office in 2009, said he finds painting relaxing and was inspired by British Prime Minister Winston Churchill, another avid painter. He hired an art teacher to help him with his hobby and, notably, told her he wanted to discover his “inner Rembrandt.”
“Portraits of Courage,” a collection of stories, 66 portraits and a four-panel mural that Bush painted to honor military veterans, was released in 2017.