Former President Bill Clinton gestures after the portraits of his wife, Hillary Rodham Clinton and him, were revealed on April 24, 2006, at the Smithsonian Castle Building in Washington, D.C.
Haraz N. Ghanbari—AP
March 2, 2015

The artist who created the portrait of President Bill Clinton that hangs in the National Portrait Gallery has admitted he sneaked a subtle reference to the Lewinsky scandal into the background of the painting.

Painter Nelson Shanks told the Philadelphia Daily News on Friday that a shadow in the 2006 painting, which can be seen falling on the mantle of the Oval Office fireplace, was more than it appeared:

“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. “It is also a bit of a metaphor in that it represents a shadow on the office he held, or on him.”

Shanks claimed that the Clintons “hate” the painting and have lobbied for its removal from the National Portrait Gallery, a claim the museum’s spokesperson denied.

Read more at the Philadelphia Daily News.

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