Less than three months after the initial installment of Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger’s official portrait was hung in the rotunda of the state Capitol, bearing a somewhat visible image of his estranged wife Maria Shriver’s face on a pin on his lapel, a retouched version of the painting was placed on the wall next to that of his predecessor Gray Davis. This version was (almost) completely scrubbed of Shriver’s face.
“It’s all taken care of. [Helnwein] cleaned it up,” said curator Koren Benoit, according to the Sacramento Bee. Benoit was referring to Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein, the original artist who was commissioned to paint the lifelike image of a younger Schwarzenegger. The painting was done while Schwarzenegger was still in office, which is atypical for most governors.
Shriver’s image had been “terminated” before the portrait was first installed in the state Capitol by placing blue paint over the lapel where her face had appeared. It is larger than the portraits of other recent governors, standing in at over six feet tall and four feet wide, notes the Bee.
“It does make a statement,” Benoit reportedly said.
Schwarzenegger and Shriver’s 25-year marriage foundered upon the public revelation that he had fathered a child with the family maid.