Barack Obama’s portrait was painted by Kehinde Wiley — an artist best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African-Americans. The portait depicts Obama seated in a wooden chait, arms folded on his lap, leaning forward, against a vibrant green background of leaves and flowers.
For Michelle Obama’s portrait, the gallery commissioned Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery’s 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition. Sherald depicted the former first lady seated, in a white gown with geometric patterns on it against a blue background.
The paintings were unveiled at the gallery, which is part of the Smithsonian group of museums. The gallery has a complete collection of presidential portraits.
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