When it comes to plumbing political leaders’ depths, the words they use can be useful indicators. Early this week at a campaign rally in Youngstown, Ohio, Donald Trump told the audience, “With the exception of the late, great Abraham Lincoln, (I’m) more presidential than any president that ever held this office.” His ego needs a lot of assuaging. In contrast, this month’s Vogue magazine profile on German chancellor Angela Merkel noted how she shuns flattery. In one instance, she was observed chiding her staff for laughing too hard at her jokes, saying, ”You’ve heard me tell that story before.” But you don’t need these leaders’ words to know how they think.

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One look at their portraits will tell you.

The eyes have it

For the Merkel likeness, American artist Elizabeth Peyton told Vogue that she came up with the portrait after studying photos taken over three decades. “There was such pain visible. I was really conscious of that.” What you see is a full-face looking directly you with a kind of knowing and perceptibly sad air. Peyton said she sought a face both “determined and tender,” adding that the German leader’s biggest strength is her “humanity: there is nothing like that in my world right now.”

Here’s looking at you

Apparently, Peyton is referring to America’s world led by Trump. You can see what she means if you compare Merkel’s portrait in Vogue to the portrait of the Donald in #Time Magazine’s “Man of the Year” painting by Nadav Kanser.

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The president is pictured from the rear with his head half-turned to the viewer. And his face looks squeezed tight with eyes squinting as if to convey how serious a person he is and how deep his thoughts are. But his unthinking Muslim ban suggests the polar opposite of Merkel’s mindfulness on the same subject.

Brave new world

The chancellor gave sanctuary to hundreds of thousands of Syrians and refugees from other lands and cultures and exhorted her countrymen to be welcoming to make up for their dark past. You can see this in her wistful eyes in Peyton’s painting. You can see her need to atone for what Germany did to Jews. And by welcoming those from other cultures, the Germans turned the land of the Third Reich into the world’s moral compass.

Lesson learned

Another part of history said to have spurred Merkel to open the Brandenburg Gate to refugees was to see them held in wire pens by gun-toting guards on Hungary’s border. She chastised Hungary’s prime minister, saying, “I am determined not to see any more barriers erected in Europe during the remainder of my lifetime.” Of course, Trump has no such history to haunt him and seems disinterested in that of others. The only barrier he’s into is the wall he wants Mexico to build on the U.S. border. You can gather all of this in these leaders’ portrait paintings. #Angela Merkel #Donald Trump