Nelson Shanks, a painter renowned for his portraits of prominent figures ranging from presidents to a pope to royalty, has passed away on Friday of complications from cancer at his home in Andsalusia, in Bucks County, according to Bill Wedo, spokesman for the Studio Incamminati art school Shanks founded with his wife, Leona.

He was 77.

“I try to push portraits as far as I can beyond the academic, traditional, straightforward boardroom style,” Mr. Shanks said in a 2001 interview. “I try to bring the art out”

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