Canadian prime minister and tatted-up bae Minister Justin Trudeau might be the Da Vinci of our time. Among his other hobbies (which include starring in made-for-TV period dramas and philanthropic boxing), it seems that one of the youngest PMs in Canadian history also has a fondness for watercolors. One of JT’s masterpieces in this apparent treasure trove, a watercolor sketch of Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights (CMHR), has been auctioned off for $25,000 on Ebay—and a number of art people are praising the piece in a way that can only be described as something between “exceedingly awkward” and “that little league participation award you got while everyone pretended you weren’t the worst on the team.”

Before assuming office, the man that CBS News deemed one of the sexiest heads of state drew a watercolor sketch of Winnipeg’s Canadian Museum for Human Rights while visiting this past winter, which was then donated to the institution. Not long after it was announced that the piece would go up for auction online at an appraised price of $2,000—which was quickly followed by an amalgam of collected praise just makes it seem like they were selling it too hard for a reason, regardless of its technical merit.

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While it’s hard to criticize a sketch that was done in the name of charity—the funds Trudeau’s piece raised will go towards the Winnipeg museum—the lengths at which some went to praise the watercolor just seem, well, odd.

Here’s a roundup of some of the blurbs that sound like they’re being recited through the stiffest grins with a lot of unsettling white teeth:

  • “It’s like, wow! With this kind of fundraiser, you never know what can happen, so we didn’t want to set our expectations too high...It’s just amazing how well it ended up doing, and I think it demonstrates what a unique piece the sketch is and the interest people are taking in human rights.”—Viv Draward, CMHR communications director.
  • “My expectations were that it was going to be…pretty amateurish. But I was really pleasantly surprised.”—Gail Asper, CMHR chief fundraiser.
  • “...very well done indeed.”—David Silcox, former president of Sotheby’s Canada (his entire critique can also be read here, which while pleasant was also given via press release.)

Ebay began the bid for Trudeau’s sketch began on February 5 at 9PM and ran for ten days, ending on February 15.

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The watercolor enthusiasts/Trudeau fanpersons who snagged the PM’s masterwork were identified by the Canadian Press as Grant and Alice Burton, “a Toronto businessman and philanthropist” and “his artist wife.”


Image via Getty.


Contact the author at jamie.reich@jezebel.com.