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The sad paintings of L. Paul Bremer III

Who says there are no second acts in American life? You may remember L. Paul Bremer III as the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) immediately following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Astute readers may also recall that he presided over such decisions as the dismantling of the Iraqi army, the “de-Baathification” of Iraq’s ...

L. Paul Bremer
L. Paul Bremer

Who says there are no second acts in American life?

You may remember L. Paul Bremer III as the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) immediately following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Astute readers may also recall that he presided over such decisions as the dismantling of the Iraqi army, the "de-Baathification" of Iraq's government, some questionable financial decisions involving hundreds of millions of dollars' worth of Iraqi money, and the scandal over prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

But the real question is, what's he up to now?

Who says there are no second acts in American life?

You may remember L. Paul Bremer III as the administrator of the Coalition Provisional Authority (CPA) immediately following the U.S.-led invasion of Iraq. Astute readers may also recall that he presided over such decisions as the dismantling of the Iraqi army, the “de-Baathification” of Iraq’s government, some questionable financial decisions involving hundreds of millions of dollars’ worth of Iraqi money, and the scandal over prisoner abuse at Abu Ghraib.

But the real question is, what’s he up to now?

While perusing a Tablet magazine profile of Dan Senor, we happened to notice this gem of a parenthetical: “Bremer wound up retiring to Vermont to become a landscape painter.” Do go on!

Apparently, Bremer turned to painting around 2007 and has been going strong ever since, as you can see on his website. He appears to favor landscapes, mostly of rural Vermont, in various muted shades. But as they say, a picture is worth a thousand words. Let’s look at some highlights. From the “private collection,” we have a rare female nude, the title of which — Nude with Matisse Colors (2009) — refers to innovative French artist Henri Matisse:

Next up, we swing to his preferred subject matter, landscapes.

A muted rural scene from Vermont. We’re not sure what the classical influence on this one is, but the skewed perspectives and somber coloring bring to mind certain elements of the Oval Office circa 2003.

Here’s another landscape, this one titled Fishing on the Potomac River.

Really, they’re all gems. You can see the entire collection here.

Correction: This post originally identified Bremer’s primary medium as watercolors. He actually uses primarily oil paints. 

Cara Parks is deputy managing editor at Foreign Policy. Prior to that she was the World editor at the Huffington Post. She is a graduate of Bard College and the Columbia Graduate School of Journalism, and has written for The New Republic, Interview, Radar, and Publishers Weekly, among others. Twitter: @caraparks

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