The women of the Supreme Court – all four that have served – are the stars of a new piece of artwork on loan to the National Portrait Gallery in Washington.
On Monday, the Smithsonian museum unveiled the painting, created by portraitist Nelson Shanks in 2012. It stands at a whopping 9 feet 6 inches high and shows retired Justice Sandra Day O'Connor and current Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg sitting on a blue couch, with newer Justices Sonia Sotomayor and Elena Kagan standing behind them. While all four women are wearing their robes, each is sporting slightly different neckwear.
The Legal Times reported that all four justices sat for the portrait for more than four hours last year, in a setting that artist Shanks called "semi-controlled chaos." The justices were "talking and joking" throughout. The painting's setting doesn't actually exist, with the artist instead combining the scenery from one of the court's conference rooms that overlooks a courtyard, with that of the Natalie Cornell Rehnquist Dining Room, a dining room in the Supreme Court building named after the wife of late Chief Justice William Rehnquist.
The justices have yet to see the very large painting in person, but will do so Monday night at a private reception, the Legal Times said.