Bill Clinton Portrait Includes Subtle Monica Lewinsky Reference, Artist Claims Former President “Hates” It

Bill Clinton and Hillary Clinton
Artist subtly painted Monica Lewinsky's shadow in Bill Clinton's 2006 portrait  Michel Du Cille/The Washington Post/Getty Images

Step aside Tumblr dress, there’s a new photo on the Internet to scrutinize. Renowned painter Nelson Shanks admitted to the Philadelphia Daily News that when he painted Bill Clinton’s 2006 portrait, he made sure to subtly include Monica Lewinsky.

"The reality is he's probably the most famous liar of all time," Shanks explained. "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."

Exactly how you might ask? The shadow covering the left-hand side of the Oval Office’s mantle. "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," Shanks said, referring to, of course, the famed blue dress Lewinsky wore during her affair with Clinton. "It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him."

According to the artist, Clinton isn’t a fan of the portrait, either. “The Clintons hate the portrait,” Shanks claims. “They want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery. They're putting a lot of pressure on them,” he added. (After reaching out to the gallery, the site claims a spokeswoman for the gallery denies the claim though.)

Shanks, who has painted every one from Princess Diana to Pope John Paul II, also said Clinton was the hardest for him to capture, but the former president may have found the experience more difficult himself. 

“There are plenty of [people] I've made nervous. Especially Clinton,” Shanks said. "Oh, he was petrified."

Tell Us: Do you see Lewinsky in the painting?

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