Skip to main content

Bill Clinton

Bill Clinton
Usage Conditions Apply
Artist
Nelson Shanks, 23 Dec 1937 - 28 Aug 2015
Sitter
William Jefferson Clinton, born 19 Aug 1946
Date
2005
Type
Painting
Medium
Oil on canvas
Dimensions
Stretcher: 228.6 x 121.9cm (90 x 48")
Frame: 257.5 x 151.1 x 7.3cm (101 3/8 x 59 1/2 x 2 7/8")
Topic
Nature & Environment\Plant
Interior\Office
Container\Vase
Architecture\Fireplace
Artwork\Portrait\George Washington
William Jefferson Clinton: Male
William Jefferson Clinton: Law and Law Enforcement\Lawyer
William Jefferson Clinton: Education and Scholarship\Educator\Professor\University
William Jefferson Clinton: Politics and Government\President of US
William Jefferson Clinton: Politics and Government\Governor\Arkansas
William Jefferson Clinton: Politics and Government\State Attorney General\Arkansas
William Jefferson Clinton: Presidential Medal of Freedom
Portrait
Credit Line
National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution; gift of The Boeing Company, Dr. and Mrs. Ronald I. Dozoretz, Charles H. and Eleanor M. Foster, Norma Lee and Morton Funger, Sam F. and June Hamra, Frank and Marylen Mann Jacobs, S. Lee and Rosalyn H. Kling, Ambassador and Mrs. Philip Lader, Mr. and Mrs. Thomas F. McLarty III, Ruesch Family Foundation, Alfred H. Moses and Fern M. Schad, Daniel Greenberg and Susan Steinhauser, John and Laurie Sykes, Mallory and Diana Walker
Restrictions & Rights
Usage conditions apply
Object number
NPG.2006.1
Exhibition Label
Bill Clinton came to national attention when, at age thirty-two, he was elected governor of Arkansas in 1978. He served a total of twelve years as governor before earning the Democratic presidential nomination in 1992 and winning the November election.
As president, Clinton made the ambitious attempt to overhaul the nation’s health care system. Although that effort failed, he went on to play an important role in reshaping the country’s public welfare system. Clinton’s administration also curbed the massive federal spending deficits of the 1980s; during the late 1990s, the government had a surplus in revenues for the first time in nearly thirty years.
Clinton’s second term was marked by several scandals, including lying while under oath about a sexual relationship he had with a White House intern. For this, he was impeached by the House of Representatives but was not convicted in the Senate trial.
This painting by Nelson Shanks, a classically trained portraitist, shows Clinton in the Oval Office. The bottom portion of a portrait of George Washington by Rembrandt Peale, from around 1823, appears above the mantle.
Bill Clinton captó la atención del país cuando, con solo 32 años, fue elegido gobernador de Arkansas en 1978. Ocupó el puesto durante 12 años antes de ganar la nominación presidencial por el Partido Demócrata en 1992 y la elección en noviembre.
Como presidente, Clinton hizo un ambicioso esfuerzo por reformar el sistema de cuidado médico nacional. Aunque no tuvo éxito, sí tuvo un papel importante en la reforma del sistema de bienestar social. Su administración también redujo el enorme déficit federal de la década de 1980; a fines de los noventa, el gobierno tenía un superávit por primera vez en casi 30 años.
El segundo término de Clinton se vio afectado por varios escándalos, entre ellos su mentira bajo juramento acerca de una relación sexual con una becaria de la Casa Blanca. Por esto la Cámara de Representantes votó por someterlo a juicio político, pero el Senado no lo halló culpable.
Esta pintura de Nelson Shanks, retratista de formación clásica, muestra a Clinton en el Despacho Oval. Sobre la chimenea se ve la parte inferior de un retrato de George Washington realizado por Rembrandt Peale hacia 1823.
Provenance
Commissioned by NPG, purchased 2006
Data Source
National Portrait Gallery