Hidden in the portrait of former President Bill Clinton is a subtle metaphor that represents the sex scandal that rocked his administration in the late 1990s, according to the man who painted it.
Nelson Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News that he snuck in a shadow of a blue dress on the left-hand side of the portrait to represent the “shadow on the office he held, or on him.” The blue dress refers to the infamous one belonging to Monica Lewinsky. Take a look:
Calling Clinton “probably the most famous liar of all time,” Shanks said he could “could never get this Monica thing completely out of my mind and it is subtly incorporated in the painting.”
He continued: “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.”
Shanks also claimed that the Clintons “hate the portrait” and “want it removed from the National Portrait Gallery.” However, a spokeswoman with the gallery denied that was the case.
The portrait also made headlines when it was unveiled in 2006, because it depicts Clinton without his wedding band.