TALLAHASSEE, Fla. - Former Gov. Charlie Crist's portrait joined those of past Florida chief executives in the Capitol on Monday - a full-framed likeness of the state's 44th governor, noteworthy by what it does not include.
Unlike recent governors who have chosen to include iconic symbols of their time in office, Crist's portrait is a straight-ahead, formal depiction of him standing next to a Florida flag, his left hand holding the back of a chair.
"I think the seal of Florida says it all," Crist said after a Capitol ceremony that included Gov. Rick Scott. "I just love this state and didn't want to kind of distract with anything else."
Pensacola artist Jeffrey Bass painted Crist's official portrait from a photograph taken in the Governor's Mansion in December. Bass also was commissioned to paint Crist's Republican predecessor, Gov. Jeb Bush, whose portrait included such background details as a BlackBerry, a family photo and images of the Bible, Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings' Florida memoir Cross Creek and the 1899 motivational essay A Message to Garcia, by Elbert Hubbard.
Democratic Gov. Lawton Chiles' portrait includes a raccoon, in homage to his self-styled "he-coon" image, while former Gov. Claude Kirk is portrayed next to a desktop elephant, marking him as Florida's first Republican governor of the 20th century.
Crist said he offered no direction to Bass and was pleased with the result. "I'd seen some of his work before," Crist said. " I trusted his artistic judgment."