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Portraits of Barack and Michelle Obama unveiled

The portraits are due to go on show from February 13.

The US National Portrait Gallery has unveiled portraits of former president Barack Obama and former first lady Michelle Obama.

Both images were painted by African-American artists who were personally chosen by the Obamas.

The portraits were unveiled to the public at the gallery in Washington, which is part of the Smithsonian group of museums.

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The ex-president looks at former first lady Michelle Obama’s official portrait (AP)

The gallery has a complete collection of presidential portraits.

A second and different set of portraits of the former first couple will eventually hang in the White House.

Barack Obama’s portrait was painted by Kehinde Wiley — an artist best known for his vibrant, large-scale paintings of African-Americans.

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Michelle Obama and artist Amy Sherald unveil the picture of the former first lady (AP)

For Michelle Obama’s portrait, the gallery commissioned Baltimore-based artist Amy Sherald, first-prize winner of the Portrait Gallery’s 2016 Outwin Boochever Portrait Competition.

The portraits will be officially installed and available for public viewing starting on February 13.

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