Painter Jack Levine’s 1975 work depicts the visit of the Patriarch of Moscow to Jerusalem. The style is biting social satire, with a critical edge. The Patriarch of Moscow is the head of the Russian Orthodox Church and holds significant influence in Eastern Europe.
In 2008, President George W. Bush visited with Theophilos III, Patriarch of Jerusalem, marking an important diplomatic gesture between the two countries. Today, tensions remain within the Orthodox community following Russia’s recent invasion of Ukraine and support for Russian Patriarch Kirill as leader.
Despite this division within the church, Levine’s piece represents a moment in history where religious leaders were able to come together for peaceful dialogue and exchange – providing an image worth pondering on its lasting value.