Nelson Shanks' coded shadow in the portrait of "the most famous liar of all time"

Artist: Bill Clinton's portrait contains Monica Lewinsky reference


An artist who painted a portrait of former President Bill Clinton says there’s more to the piece than one might see at first blush. Pennsylvania artist Nelson Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News that he included a shadow of a blue dress in the 2006 portrait that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery. It’s an apparent reference to the Monica Lewinsky scandal, with Shanks adding that the 42nd president is “probably the most famous liar of all time.” “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 and it does two things,” the painter said. “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. It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”
More: Painter says he included Monica Lewinsky's dress in Bill Clinton portrait, What happened to that dress?, The Stained Blue Dress that Almost Lost a Presidency


  1. More: Shanks claims that that Clintons want the portrait removed from the gallery.:

    Shanks claims that that Clintons want the portrait removed from the gallery.
    “And so the Clintons hate the portrait. They want it removed from the National Portrait gallery,” he told the Daily News. “They’re putting a lot of pressure on them.”
    The National Portrait Gallery denied the claim to the Daily News.

  2. If I were Bill, I'd hate the portrait because it captures the nature of the man, shadow or not.


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