World-renowned portrait artist and Brentwood resident Igor Babailov recently unveiled his portrait of C. Wright Pinson, MD, MBA, FACS, who serves as deputy vice chancellor for health affairs, associate vice chancellor for clinical affairs and CEO of the Vanderbilt Health System.
The painting was displayed at the Nashville C. Pinson Hospitality House, which recently opened as lodging for patients and families of patients receiving treatment at Nashville-area hospitals. It’s named after Pinson, who’s also a liver and hepatobiliary surgeon.
The new space with 30 rooms will house families with loved ones experiencing long hospital stays in Nashville, giving them an affordable place to stay, relax, socialize, prepare meals and gain some comfort.
Babailov, who’s an honorary American academician of the Russian Academy of Arts and doctor of letters - Honoris Causa - has painted more than 2,000 official legacy portraits of world leaders and distinguished individuals, including three presidents, two prime ministers, three popes, members of the nobility and British royalty, Fortune 500 CEOs, celebrities and many other world-famous individuals.
“Ever since I first met Dr. Pinson and learned about his extraordinary accomplishments and talents and his having performed over 6,000 liver transplants, I told him that one day, I would love to paint his hands,” Babailov said. “All the great portrait masters said the hands in a portrait are as important as the portrait itself and most challenging to paint. This certainly applies to the portrait of someone like Dr. Pinson.
“To underline the importance of his hands in my painting, I used the old masters scientific method of placing objects in a way which gives the illusion of movement, so as the viewer moves across the painting, Dr. Pinson’s arm on the windowsill moves along with you, which engages the viewer even more.
“I always believed that a great painting is more than just a visual likeness. It has to tell the person’s life story, so as the case with Dr. Pinson, all the objects in the painting – the books, sculptures, awards and the composition itself – correspond to his professional and personal legacy.”
For his lifetime achievements in portrait painting, Babailov has received numerous national and international awards, including the George Washington Presidential Award by Mount Vernon Museum for his portrait of the nation’s founder, and in Malta he received a Knighthood of the Order of St. Anne. Most recently, Babailov was awarded an honorary doctorate from Cumberland University in Lebanon.