Canadian, born Armenia,
Pope John Paul II
20 in. x 16 in. (50.8 cm x 40.64 cm)
Medium and Support:
Gelatin silver print on paper
Gifted to the Montgomery Museum of Fine Arts by Mrs. Yousuf Karsh in honor of Museum Director, Mark M. Johnson
© Estate of Yousuf Karsh
Pope John Paul II (1920–2005)
In October 1978 Cardinal Karol Wojtyla became the first non-Italian Pope in 455 years and the first Pope from Poland. This portrait shows him in the Vatican’s Hall of Tapestries. In the exhibition catalog Karsh: A Fifty-Year Retrospective, the artist reproduced a color photograph of the Pope from this session.
Karsh was a devout Catholic. Around 1960 he published a series of books about the Mass, the Sacraments, Rome, and the Holy Land with the popular American Bishop Fulton J. Sheen.