Bushs relaxed and smiling portrait unveiled

December 20th, 2008 - 1:27 pm ICT by ANI  

London, Dec 20 (ANI): As US President George W Bush prepares to bid adieu to the White House, his portrait has been unveiled at the National Portrait Gallery.

The portraitpainted by Robert Anderson, a Yale classmate of the president’’sshows the Republican at ease and smiling, with his hands gently folded and a vase of flowers behind him.

The masterpiece was unveiled on December 19.

It was the first time the gallery presented the official likenesses of a sitting president and first lady.

Bush has about a month left in office.

The Presidents portrait along with that of first Lady Laura Bush will be displayed with all the other presidential portraits at the gallery.

Bush wanted Anderson to give him a more informal look for the portrait and the painter made the picture to engage viewers with the president in a “personal and conversational manner,” according to an event program.

“I needed to find a person who would do the painting that would be a good and forgiving friend. It actually looks like me, which is a good sign. You did a fabulous job,” The Telegraph quoted Bush as saying of Anderson.

Bush and G Wayne Clough, secretary of the Smithsonian Institution, pulled off the blue cloth over the portrait.

The picture will be kept at the Portrait Gallery, which holds the nation’’s only complete collection of presidential portraits outside the White House.

“That means this exhibit now has an interesting symmetry. It starts with George W and ends with George W,” joked Bush.

“It’’s a humbling experience to be included here among so many extraordinary leaders. One of the great things about this collection is that visitors can examine the faces of the men who have shaped our nation’’s history and study how history has shaped them,” said the president.

The portrait was based on photographs of President Bush at Camp David in April and September this year. (ANI)

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