Ed Driscoll

Shadow of a Doubt: Clinton Official Portrait Contains Reference to Lewinsky Scandal

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Former President Bill Clinton, gestures after the portraits of his wife Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and him were revealed, Monday, April 24, 2006, at the Smithsonian Castle Building in Washington. (AP Photo/Haraz N. Ghanbari)

Wow. As Steve Green tweets, “Clinton Troll Level: Jedi F***king Knight:”

Philadelphia area painter Nelson Shanks cunningly included a shadow over the fireplace cast from a blue dress on a mannequin.

Shanks said painting Clinton was his hardest assignment because “he is probably the most famous liar of all time.” So he added the nod to the Lewinsky scandal because it had cast a shadow over Clinton’s presidency.

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.

At Big Hollywood, John Nolte adds that for once, “Dem President Gets Taste of Subversive Art:”

Usually the artistic community singles out Christians and conservatives for subversive attacks. This week it was Democrat Bill Clinton who got a taste of an artist’s sting when the artist responsible for the former-president’s portrait for the National Portrait Gallery revealed he slipped in a reminder of Clinton’s sordid affair with then-White House intern Monica Lewinsky.

“The portrait also appears to show Clinton extending his hips towards the dress,” Nolte adds.

Now that the cat is out of the bag, one way or another, there will be a do-over, right? If not sometime between now and 2017, assuming Hillary gets in, either the painting will be quietly airbrushed Stalin-style, or it will be replaced by a portrait created by another painter. And given the track records of both the Obama and Clinton administrations, I hope that Shanks has his tax records well in order.

Rolling Stone is not happy, but then, they stopped speaking truth to power sometime during the Johnson administration.