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Thursday 5 October 2023 Dublin: 14°C
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This official Bill Clinton portrait contains a subtle reference to THAT dress
Painter Nelson Shanks mentioned this fact in an interview on Sunday.

THE PAINTER WHO produced the official portrait of former US President Bill Clinton has admitted to leaving a hidden reference within his work.

In an interview on Sunday with the Philadelphia Daily News, famous portrait artist, Nelson Shanks, said he made reference within the painting to the dress worn by former White House intern, Monica Lewinsky.

Other famous former clients of the painter include Princess Diana and Pope John Paul II.

William Jefferson Clinton, Lawrence M. Small Associated Press Associated Press

The long shadow 

In the painting a shadow can be seen being cast onto the fireplace to the left of the President.

This, Shanks says, is representative of the shadow of a blue dress that he had hanging up while he was painting the portrait. This was symbolic of the blue dress worn by Lewinsky that played a central role in her claims that she had engaged in sexual relations with Clinton.

The shadow is also said by Shanks to work metaphorically, and to represent “a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”

He says that the reason he included this in the painting was that he could “never get this Monica thing completely out of [his] mind” and this led to it being “subtly incorporated in the painting”.

National portrait gallery 

He also claimed that the Clintons were not particularly fond of the painting and had attempted to have it taken down from the National Portrait Gallery.

In the interview however, the Philadelphia Daily News state that on contacting the Gallery, they said no such requests had been received. 

Read: Who are the likely candidates in 2016 US Presidential election?

Also: Why a mysterious black briefcase follows the US president everywhere

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