When former California governor Arnold Schwarzenegger arrived at the unveiling of his official portrait in the state Capitol this week, someone was conspicuously missing from his portrait: his former wife, Maria Shriver.
Sources told the San Francisco Chronicle that the original portrait by Austrian artist Gottfried Helnwein, commissioned while Schwarzenegger was governor, showed Shriver on a button on her husband’s lapel. But now, that lapel is covered with blue paint.
Before the painting was installed at the rotunda in the state capitol, it hung in Schwarzenegger’s Oak Productions office in Santa Monica.
Helnwein had told Barbara Gasser of the Hollywood Foreign Press Association that there is “one little interesting detail which I cannot give away because I am not allowed to tell, but it was very important and meaningful to the governor.”
Clay Russell, who worked for Schwarzenegger before the split occurred with Shriver, informed the Chronicle that he had seen the original version of the portrait years ago, and thought “it was unusual for a portrait to be done so soon–a couple of years into the administration.”
The breakup with Shriver was largely a result of the revelation that Schwarzenegger had fathered a child by the family maid.