Karl Barth Portrait(s)

I’m very proud to be the new owner of an original painting of Karl Barth which is now on display in my office. How did I come to receive this, you ask? I’m glad you asked! Well, my wife and I just celebrated our 20th wedding anniversary [I love you, Maureen!] and she got it done for me as a gift. It was definitely a favorite of mine!

The artist, Ross Melanson, is a former theology student of mine who now works at the Moose Jaw Art Museum and Art Gallery. The painting is acrylic on canvas.

The backstory was that I had commissioned Ross to do a painting of Barth for my book (which is apparently out now, though I haven’t yet seen a copy!) being published by Ashgate. He readily agreed to do this, and did a wonderful job of doing something (as asked) a little less traditional! However, when my wife secretly contacted him about buying the actual painting, he informed her that it had already been sold! Imagine that! I had no idea that there would be a demand for Karl Barth paintings in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, but apparently there is! So, Maureen asked Ross to paint another, which he graciously did.

My own copy is very similar to what will appear on the book, but there are some differences. Thus, in the spirit of the old “spot the differences” game where you try to find the differences between two similar pictures, here they are. The “book photo” is left, and my own copy is right.

Barth original by Ross Melanson

Karl Barth by Ross Melanson 2009

Frankly, I love them both, but I must admit that I prefer my own copy more. Sharper colors and I think a tad bit more striking than the book copy. What’s your preference?

Thanks for the fantastic job, Ross!

3 thoughts on “Karl Barth Portrait(s)

  1. GREAT idea. The book one seems crisper, but I do like the colouring of the other. All in all what a great gift, and I’m so glad you did this instead of the stock photo option.

  2. I am glad you are enjoying the picture of Karl Barth. I like the one with the brighter colors, and by the way I am happy it is hanging in your office, and not in my living room.
    love you much, MOM

  3. Dear Madam/Sir:

    I am about to publish a book in which I pay tribute to Rev. Karl Barth, whom I admire greatly. I would like to include a photo of Rev. Barth in the book, and would welcome your advice where to obtain a suitable image or portrait–ideally free of copyright encumbrance. Due to the fast-approaching date of publication, I’d welcome a response at your earliest convenience.

    Many thanks for your kind assistance.


    Glenn Kleier
    4005 Whiteblossom Estates Court
    Louisville, KY 40241

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