Tough-as-Nails Pooty-Poot Is Also an Artiste

Russian PM's painting fetches $1.15M at charity auction
By Jason Farago,  Newser Staff
Posted Jan 19, 2009 7:21 AM CST

(Newser) – Vladimir Putin has a murky past with the KGB, a black belt in judo, and the public image of a tough guy, so when the Russian PM tried his hand at fine art, patrons sat up. Putin painted a scene of snowfall seen through a window for a charity auction in St. Petersburg, with a florid "Putin" signature at the top (a pro finished the work). Bidding started at $620, but the canvas ended up selling for $1.15 million—not bad for a rookie.