A visitor takes photos of the paintings during the "12 Labours of Putin" art exhibition on Oct. 6, 2014 marking the 60th birthday of Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the design workshop in Moscow.
A visitor takes photos of the paintings during the "12 Labours of Putin" art exhibition on Oct. 6, 2014 marking the 60th birthday of Russia's President Vladimir Putin at the design workshop in Moscow. Vasily Maximov—AFP/Getty Images

These Russians Made Artwork to Prove Putin Is as Manly as Hercules

Oct 08, 2014

Russian President Vladimir Putin's 62nd birthday was celebrated around his country Tuesday, with parades, a children's choir performance, and, of course, a pop-up art gallery exhibition depicting the Russian leader as the Greek hero Hercules.

A pro-Putin group organized a gallery with art showing Putin as Hercules completing "The 12 Labors of Putin." The artwork compared Putin's fight against terrorism, for instance, to Hercules' battle against the Nemean Lion; his confrontation with the United States over Ukraine, Syria and economic sanctions was shown as Hercules' fight against the three-headed dog from Hell, Cerberus.

Even though Putin doesn't quite pull it off like Dwayne "the Rock" Johnson in the recent Hercules movie, he has been photographed many times over the years packing the buffness.

Putin is widely admired in Russia as he challenges Europe and the West this year; his popularity rating at home well exceeds 80 percent.

See 23 Photos That Prove Vladimir Putin Thinks He's an Action Figure

President Vladimir Putin participates in a gala ice hockey match between Russian amateur players and ice hockey stars during the Night Hockey league tournament in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Krasnodar region, Russia, May 10, 2014.
President Vladimir Putin participates in a gala ice hockey match between Russian amateur players and ice hockey stars during the Night Hockey league tournament in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Krasnodar region, Russia, May 10, 2014.Alexey Druginyn—Ria Novosti/EPA
President Vladimir Putin participates in a gala ice hockey match between Russian amateur players and ice hockey stars during the Night Hockey league tournament in the Black Sea resort of Sochi, Krasnodar region, Russia, May 10, 2014.
Russia's President Vladimir Putin is seen through the glass of C-Explorer 5 submersible after a dive in the Baltic Sea
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Russian Prime Minister Putin carries artifacts he recovered whilst diving at an archaeological site off the Taman peninsular
Russian Prime Minister Putin prepares to dive at an archaeological site off the Taman peninsular
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (L
Vladimir Putin
Vladimir Putin
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Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin fi
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin sw
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin po
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin
Russian Prime Minister Vladimir Putin lo
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Russia's Prime Minister Vladimir Putin (
Russia's Prime Minister Putin strokes a Beluga whale named Dasha as he visits Chkalov island, 700 kilometres (440 miles) northeast of the city of Khabarovsk
Russia's Prime Minister Putin attaches a satellite tracking tag to a Beluga whale named Dasha as he visits Chkalov island
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Vladimir Putin
President Vladimir Putin participates in a gala ice hockey match between Russian amateur players and ice hockey stars d
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Alexey Druginyn—Ria Novosti/EPA
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