Philadelphia area painter Nelson Shanks revealed in a recent interview that he included a shadow of Monica Lewinsky’s infamous dress in the official Bill Clinton painting that hangs in the Smithsonian’s National Portrait Gallery.
Mr. Shanks, who has painted portraits of everyone from Princess Diana to Pope John Paul II, told the Philadelphia Daily News that painting Mr. Clinton was one of his more difficult projects, because the Democratic president is “probably the most famous liar of all time.”
“He and his administration did some very good things, of course, but I could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind and it is subtly incorporated in the painting,” Mr. Shanks told the Daily News.
The painter explained that when Mr. Clinton was out of the room, he set up a mannequin wearing a blue dress to cast a shadow over the Oval Office’s fireplace.
“If you look at the left-hand side of it, there’s a mantle in the Oval Office, and I put a shadow coming into the painting,” Mr. Shanks told the Daily News. He called it a metaphor that represents “a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”
Mr. Shanks did not reveal this in 2006 when the portrait was first unveiled.
A spokeswoman from the National Portrait Gallery denied Mr. Shanks‘ claim.
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