The artist who painted a depiction of former President Clinton that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery said in an interview published Sunday that he quietly added the shadow of Monica Lewinsky’s famous blue dress to the image.
Nelson Shanks, told the Philadelphia Daily News that he put a blue dress on a mannequin and painted its shadow into the portrait, to the left of the president.
“It actually literally represents a shadow from a blue dress that I had on a mannequin, that I had there while I was painting it, but not when he was there,” Shanks told the newspaper. “It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”
Shanks was commissioned by Clinton to do the portrait toward the end of his presidency. In addition to a portrait hanging in the National Portrait Gallery, each president has a different official depiction in the White House.
Shanks claimed the Clintons have tried to have the painting removed from the Portrait Gallery, which the museum denied to the Daily News.