“Chancellor of the Free World”: The Search for German Leadership (2015)


As diverse economic, climate, and political crises unfolded across the globe, and as traditional sources of global leadership seemed to wane, many citizens of the world looked to Germany for guidance. In the summer of 2015, Chancellor Angela Merkel earned enormous respect in the world press for accepting refugees from war-torn Syria despite considerable opposition within Germany and the European Union, especially from its newest Eastern members. In 2015, Merkel was chosen as Time magazine’s Person of the Year. The magazine introduced her as “Angela Merkel, Chancellor of the Free World.” The Merkel portrait featured on the cover of Time was painted by artist Colin Davidson, who lives and works near Belfast, Northern Ireland. The photograph below shows Davidson’s grand-scale Merkel portrait on view in a London gallery in January 2016.   


Source: London, UK. January 19, 2016. Painting titled Portrait of Angela Merkel (2015) by artist Colin Davidson. Photo: Raymond Tang.

© Raymond Tang / Alamy Stock Photo

“Chancellor of the Free World”: The Search for German Leadership (2015), published in: German History Intersections, <https://germanhistory-intersections.org/en/germanness/ghis:image-278> [November 29, 2023].