Monica’s Infamous Dress is in the National Portrait Gallery’s Bill Clinton Painting

It’s been almost 20 years since Monica Lewinsky sealed her name into the history books as the most infamous intern the United States has ever known. And her blue dress –with stain courtesy of President Bill Clinton — is STILL generating gossip fodder.

On the walls of Washington D.C.’s National Portrait Gallery, are a pair of portraits of President Clinton and his wife Hilary Clinton. The paintings were done by artist Nelson Shanks, who recently revealed to The Philadelphia Daily News that when he did the portraits in 2006, he included a subtle reference to Monica’s blue dress. Shanks admitted in the interview that he wasn’t the biggest fan and thinks the 42nd U.S. President is “probably the biggest liar of all time.” Ouch.

It seems a odd that one would agree to such a job if they weren’t a fan of the subject matter, but nevertheless, Shanks took the painting gig, because hey — money, right?! While painting his subject, Shanks admitted that he couldn’t get the Monica scandal out of his mind.

“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.”


Shanks went on to say that “the Clintons hate that portrait” and have been putting pressure on the National Portrait Gallery to take it down. Geeze, what a surprise! You paint a picture of somebody and include one of their most embarrassing moments and then find out they’re not a fan of your work. There’s no arguing that Nelson Shanks is a talented artist, but he also might be a bit of an a**hole.

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