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Botero, Fernando Biography


Born in Medellin, Colombia, Botero attended a school for matadors from 1944 to 1946 but his true interest was in art. He first exhibited his paintings in 1948 in Medellin with other artists from the region. At that time he was influenced by the work of Mexican artists Diego Rivera, and David Alfaro Siqueiros. In 1952 Botero began studies at the Academy of San Fernando in Madrid, Spain, visiting the Prado Museum daily. He went to Paris in 1953, studying the old masters in the Louvre Museum. Later that year, he traveled to Florence, Italy, where he studied such Italian masters as Giotto and Piero della Francesca.

When Botero moved to New York City in 1960, he had developed his trademark style: the depiction of round, corpulent humans and animals. In these works he referenced Latin-American folk art in his use of flat, bright color and boldly outlined forms. He favored a smooth look in his paintings, eliminating the appearance of brushwork and texture, as in Presidential Family (1967). In works such as this, Botero also drew from the Old Masters he had emulated in his youth: his formal portraits of the bourgeoisie and political and religious dignitaries clearly reference the composition and meditative quality of formal portraits by Goya and Velázquez. The inflated proportions of his figures, such as those in Presidential Family, also suggest an element of political satire, perhaps hinting at the subjects' inflated sense of their own importance. Botero’s other oil paintings from the period include bordello scenes and nudes, which possess comic qualities that challenge and satirize sexual mores, and portraits of families, which possess a gentle, affectionate quality.

Botero’s famous oil paintings include:

Reclining Woman with a Book
Picnic in the Mountains
Loving Couple
Still Life with Fruits
Woman Putting on Her Brassiere
The House of Madrique
Dancer at the Pole
The Arnolofini Marriage
The Death of Luis Chaleta
Indian Girl
Still Life with Cake
The Rich Children
The Lovers

View Botero, Fernando paintings here.

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