​Monica Lewinsky, Bill Clinton Portrait Becomes Metaphor Of Lewinsky’s Blue Dress

Author: John LesterBy:
Staff Reporter
Mar. 4, 2015

Lewinsky Clinton Portrait - So famous that a blue dress is seen in the shadow of a very popular collection.

A Monica Lewinsky and President Bill Clinton portrait is part of the National Portrait Gallery collection in symbolism. Lewinsky, Clinton’s famous intern, is represented as a shadow of a blue dress, according to Examiner. The painter, Nelson Shanks, couldn’t get the image out of his mind.

The artist revealed in an interview with the Philadelphia Daily News that he included a shadow over the fireplace cast from a blue dress on a mannequin.

Shanks said painting Clinton was his hardest assignment because “he is probably the most famous liar of all time.” So he added the nod to the Lewinsky scandal because it had cast a shadow over Clinton’s presidency.

“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.”

Lewinsky and Clinton’s portrait is disguised. 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. 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, according to Syracuse Post-Standard.

Shanks did not reveal this nine years ago when the portrait was unveiled. But perhaps now we could read between the lines of what he did say.

“I think the painting really feels like Bill Clinton … It has — I would not call it swagger … What? An informality? A looseness, a relaxed nature.”

Shanks alluded that Bill and Hillary Clinton are aware of the symbolism in the Lewinsky and Clinton portrait. He said they wanted it taken down. A Clinton spokesman refused to comment.

“And so the Clintons hate the portrait.”

The Lewinsky and Clinton portrait was taken down about three years ago but had previously hung in the museum since its debut in 2006, a National Portrait Gallery spokeswoman said. She said the Clintons had not asked for it to be removed, notes Ahmedabad Mirror. Paintings are often rotated in and out of the “America’s Presidents” exhibits.

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