Barack Obama and Michelle Obama get their White House portraits – see pictures

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More than five years after leaving office, former United States president Barack Obama and his wife, former first lady Michelle Obama, returned to the White House on Wednesday (September 7) for the unveiling of their official portraits. 

The event was hosted by fellow Democrat and the current President Joe Biden, who served as the vice president throughout Obama’s two terms. 

Obamas themselves unveiled the paintings which will get hung beside those of generations of previous first couples in the White House. 

When they pulled the plain blue cloths that were covering the artworks, people present in the East Room cheered for the former president and former first lady. 

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Barack Obama’s painting is made by artist Robert McCurdy, who put the grey-suited ex-president at the centre of his canvas, in a photorealistic portrait with a white background. 

Brooklyn artist Sharon Sprung created Michelle’s painting. The former first lady is pictured in a blue dress in the White House’s Red Room. 

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While speaking about Michelle, Barack Obama said, “It is my pleasure to introduce someone who needs no introduction. Michelle was the best thing about living in the White House. And let me tell you, the pastry chefs here deliver delicious pies on request.” 

He added, “So that is saying something I could not ask for a better life partner. And in my humble opinion, America could not have asked for a better first lady. Please give it up for Michelle Obama.” 

In the United States, invited to a former president returns for the unveiling during his successor’s tenure, but Republican President Donald Trump’s administration did not hold a ceremony for the Obamas. 

(With inputs from agencies) 

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