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Wednesday, March 4, 2015

Bill Clinton Portrait "Hides" Monica in the Background!

Bill Clinton NELSON SHANKS/NATIONAL PORTRAIT  at the National Portrait Gallery in Washington D.C.

Renowned portrait artist Nelson Shanks has done some work before with Ronald Reagan and Princess Diana but his painting of the 42nd president at a New York City studio in 2005 is getting a different kind of attention now. While the portrait was done with the artist's usual conservative realistic style, its turning out from his own pronouncements that he took some risks in expressing his interpretation of the Clinton legacy - right on the painting itself! 

The most infamous blue dress in the world, associated with the most sensational Presidential scandal in recent history

Shank by his own admission "hid" some unflattering symbolism in the painting -- a barely noticeable shadow in the painting's background on the fireplace mantle, supposedly cast by a blue dress- which was his way of evoking Monica Lewinsky, the intern with whom Clinton had a scandalous fling while in office. According to the painter,  the dress-shaped shadow is in fact an allusion to the "literal shadow" that the Monica Lewinsky scandal cast on Clinton's legacy,
Artist Nelson Shanks works on a portrait of former president Bill Clinton in his Andalusia, Pa., studio in 2005. The portrait was commissioned by the National Portrait Gallery in Washington. (Photo: Eileen Blass, USA TODAY)

"Let's face it, that's a metaphor," the artist tells in an interview with Philadelphia Daily News, adding, "....a major shadow across [Clinton's] presidency.There's some humor attached to it," Shanks admits. "But I hope it's deeper than that. I hope it's reflective of history and an anecdote that history should respect and know about at the same time." 
Bill Clinton looking up at his portrait during its unveiling at the Smithsonian Castle Building in Washington. Photograph: Haraz N Ghanbari/AP

No one (including the Clintons) have asked us to remove the portrait from the gallery," a spokeswoman for the N.P.G. tells PEOPLE

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