Bill Clinton’s affair with Monika Lewinsky had influenced the appearance of a silhouette on one of his paintings, Pennsylvania artist Nelson Shanks told The Philadelphia Daily News.
Shanks was commissioned to paint a portrait of Bill Clinton. The result — a shadow tucked in the background. The shadow was that of a blue dress, reminiscent of the political scandal that took place between the Former President and the White House intern.
Shanks told the Daily News, “The reality is he’s probably the most famous liar of all time. 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.”
Shanks explained the subtle Lewinsky mantle as metaphor for the portrait.
“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,” Shanks told the newspaper. “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.”
The portrait was among 55 painted works of the 42nd president stocked in the National Portrait Gallery. However, Shanks believed Clinton wanted the painting removed from the collection, a claim denied by Bethany Bentley, head of communications.
“No, they have not asked us [to take it down],” she said.
However, she admitted that for the past few years, the painting has not been displayed yet.
The Lewinsky episode led to the impeachment of Bill Clinton in 1998. A 21-day Senate trial followed, where Clinton was ultimately acquitted of charges of perjury and obstruction of justice.