Fernando Botero


Fernando Botero, best known for his voluptuously rotund human figures, was born in Medellín, Colombia on April 19, 1932. His father died when he was young and he was raised by his mother along with his two brothers. He attended a Jesuit school in Medellín and when he was twelve, he attended matador training school for two years. The bull fight was a recurring theme in Botero’s early work and while he was in his early teens he sold his pictures of bullfights in front of the arena. By the time he was sixteen, Botero worked as an illustrator for the local magazine El Colombiano. He also began writing articles about art theory, one of which, entitled Picasso and Nonconformity in Art, led to his expulsion from the Jesuit school for its endorsement of cubism. One of Botero’s important early works, Woman Crying, reflects his interest in Picasso and also reveals strains of German Expressionism and the social themes of the muralist painters Diego Rivera, David Alfaro Siqueiros and José Clemente Orozco.

Botero held his first solo art show in 1951 in Bogota at the age of nineteen. He made enough money to travel to Spain where he studied at the Academica de San Fernando in Madrid. In 1953, he moved to Paris where he spent time studying works in the Louvre. He also traveled to Florence where he was inspired by Renaissance artists, in particular Paulo Uccello and Piero della Francesca. In 1955, Botero returned to Colombia but felt at odds with the artistic climate there. His work was not appreciated and he went to Mexico City where he met the artists Rufino Tamayo and José Luis Cuevas. Botero was inspired by Mexico’s pre- Columbian art and by the ethos of revolution that continued to pervade the artistic themes of his contemporaries. It was here in Mexico City that Botero stumbled upon his unique style and artistic vision of the world.

Artist Video
March - September 2017
Heather James Fine Art - Palm Desert
Inquire about this piece