Presidential portrait painter Nelson Shanks, revealed in an interview with Philly.com that he intentionally painted a reference of Monica Lewinsky into a portrait of Bill Clinton that is currently hanging in the National Portrait Gallery.
To President Clinton’s left is a shadow covering the fire place mantle. Shanks explained that it represented the shadow left over his presidency by the Lewinsky scandal.
“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.”
Shanks claimed that it was one of the most difficult paintings that he had to do when considering what message he should leave behind. “Clinton was hard… The reality is he’s 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.”
Apparently the Clintons hate the painting, which comes at no surprise, and have pressured the National Portrait Gallery to have it removed.