Bill Clinton's portrait artist dies in Bucks County home

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Sunday, August 30, 2015
Former President Bill Clinton looks up at his portrait at the Smithsonian Castle Building in Washington, April 24, 2006.
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ANDALUSIA, Pa. -- Nelson Shanks, renowned for his portraits of prominent figures ranging from presidents to royalty, has died. He was 77.

FILE - In this Oct. 28, 2013 file photo, artist Nelson Shanks talks about his painting, "The Four Justices", a 9-foot, 6-inch by 7-foot 9-inch oil on canvas portrait.

Shanks died Friday at his home in Bucks County, Pennsylvania, according to Bill Wedo, spokesman for the Studio Incamminati art school Shanks founded with his wife, Leona.

Shanks painted well-known figures such as Princess Diana, Pope John Paul II and presidents Ronald Reagan and Bill Clinton.

Former President Bill Clinton, gestures after the portraits of his wife Sen. Hillary Rodham Clinton and him were revealed, April 24, 2006, at the Smithsonian Castle Building.
AP Photo

The artist and his portrait of Clinton made news earlier this year when he told the Philadelphia Daily News that he included a subtle reference to Monica Lewinsky in the work.

Shanks told the paper that a shadow beside Clinton is a literal reference to Lewinsky's infamous blue dress and a symbolic nod to the shadow the affair cast on his presidency.