As reported by Latvian news portal Delfi, Mr. Zatlers has already had a private view of the painting and is satisfied with the result, commenting on the painting that he is satisfied with the masterful technique as well as the serious attitude of the painter. Zatlers posed for the portrait once and also participated at a photo session conducted by Ivanovs. According to the ex-president, now a MP, new directions in presidential portraiture can be seen now that Ivanovs has finished the portrait. The Chancery of the President reported that after showing the work to public, on December 21 it will be handed over to the Chancery and the painting will be displayed together with the portraits of other Latvian presidents.
The Chancery of the President commissioned Ivanovs for the portrait after a long process where several art experts were involved to guarantee high artistic quality and historical value. In April 2012, the Chancery confirmed Ritums Ivanovs for the job, and the portrait had the deadline of Dec. 15.
Working on the official portrait of Valdis Zatlers, Ivanovs has returned to the classical oil painting technique and painted according to the canons of the grand style portraiture. Viewers accustomed to Ivanovs’ original linear technique will be surprised – Valdis Zatlers’ face painted in the academic tradition has been mastered up to the smallest details and all official insignia are also recognisable.
This approach fully conforms to the rules set by the Chancery and a special commission, and continues the painter Miervaldis Polis’ style, representing the former Presidents of Latvia Vaira Vīķe-Freiberga and Guntis Ulmanis. There is also a second portrait of Valdis Zatlers, and this will surprise the public yet again, as it is executed in Ivanovs’ unique painting manner – barcode-type linear technique that symbolises the present-day digital era. In this portrait, the artist has given up the official insignia and aimed at revealing the Presidents' character in a more personal tone. This portrait is more similar to the portrait of Jānis Čakste by Ivanovs which is the property of Saeima, the parliament of Latvia, and is exhibited in its premises.