The National Portrait Gallery today unveiled their newest addition: A commissioned portrait of Microsoft founder Bill Gates, and his wife, Melinda. Artist Jon Friedman chose to emphasize the couple's achievements in humanitarian work rather than Gates' technological success, with the couple sitting before a video monitor displaying the faces of African children with the motto of their foundation, "All Lives Have Value."
According to the New York Times, Friedman was only given an hour with the Gateses, and painted the portrait from digital photographs. The admission of the portrait to the Smithsonian is one of the first commissioned portraits of prominent "living sitters," following director Marc Pachter's 2001 decision to waive the rule that the subjects of admitted portraits must have been dead for 10 years. The portrait was installed at the gallery this morning, but the couple was not present.
See the full portrait after the jump.
- The National Portrait Gallery's commissioned portrait of Bill and Melinda Gates, by artist Jon Friedman.