London, Jan 15 (ANI): Vladimir Putin has a reputation for being something of a tough man, but now the Russian Prime Minister has shown his softer side by turning his hand to art.
His debut painting pays tribute to Ukrainian folklore and will be auctioned for charity at the weekend.
Painted with pastels, Putin's artwork depicts a wintery night sky seen through a peasant's window framed by traditional lace curtains embroidered with beads and red stitching.
The word 'pattern' is daubed underneath the bottom lattice, while Putin has signed his name over the pelmet.
The artwork is part of a collection of 26 paintings - one for each letter of the alphabet - drawn by Russian celebrities and commissioned by the Tsarskoe Selo carnival, a cultural fund based in Putin's home city of St Petersburg.
"A leader who demands that the world play by our rules could hardly have painted such a picture," the Telegraph quoted one painter, who asked to remain anonymous for his own security, as saying.
"It looks as if it was painted by a sentimental woman. It is too sweet; you can feel it in the brushwork and the palette. The core theme is feminine too," the painter added.
The painting is expected to fetch a tidy sum, despite Russia being in the grip of the recession. (ANI)