Fernando Botero
Biography of Columbian Painter/ Sculptor of Obese Figures.

Pin it

Paintings by Fernando Botero
are widely available online
in the form of poster art.

Fernando Botero (b.1932)


Style of Painting: Obese Figures


The Columbian-born South American artist Fernando Botero is noted for his large-scale contemporary art - a unique blend of surrealism and figurative art comprising obese depictions of both humans and animals, some of which have been repeated as sculpture. His paintings can sell for up to $1 million. Along with the surrealist Frida Kahlo (1907-1954) and the great fresco mural painter Diego Rivera (1886-1957) - both from Mexico - Botero is one of the great 20th century painters of Latin America.


For more painters like Fernando
Botero, see: Modern Artists.

For the top 100 world's best
stone/wood carvers and bronze
artists, see: Greatest Sculptors.

For a list of the highest prices paid
for works of art by famous painters:
Top 10 Most Expensive Paintings.


Born in Medellin, Columbia, Botero held two early exhibitions at the Leo Matiz Gallery in Bogota (1951-2) at the age of nineteen, before travelling to Paris and Florence. In 1958, after group and solo exhibitions in America and Mexico, including the Guggenheim Museum in New York, he was appointed Professor of Fine Art Painting at the Bogota Academy of Art. Three years later, the New York Museum of Modern Art acquired his painting 'Mona Lisa at the Age of 12'.

During the period 1965-1982, Botero exhibited around the world: from Bogota to Japan, with retrospectives at the Hirschhorn Museum in Washington DC., and Tokyo. In 1983, the New York Metropolitan Museum bought his picture 'Ball in Columbia'.

More exhibitions of his works, including his sculpture, followed in Munich, Frankfurt, Milan and Naples. In 1990, London's Exchange Square acquired his monumental public bronze sculpture 'Broadgate Venus', while other examples of Botero's postmodernist art were shown in Florence, Monte Carlo, the Champs-Elysees in Paris, Madrid's Castellans Boulevard and Park Avenue in New York.

Style of Painting: Obese Figures

After early experiments with Abstract Expressionism during the 1950s, Botero developed his unique art style: an obese genre, featuring grossly inflated women, men, children and animals, many of whom resemble blown-up dolls.

Examples include: The Rich Children (1968), Loving Couple (1973), The Collector (1974), Cat on the Roof (1978), The Death of Luis Chaleta (1984), and Dancer at the Pole (2001).

The symbolism of his exaggerated proportions is obvious, but complex. Some of his paintings parody the works of Old Masters, others are satirical commentaries on modern life. Despite this, his use of soft colours, the graceful roundedness of his forms and the child-like representation of his characters, give his paintings a unique lightness.

With over 3,000 paintings, 200 sculptures as well as countless drawings, oil paintings and watercolours, Fernando Botero has become of of the most unique postmodernist artists of recent decades. His work can be seen in the best art museums around the world.

• For details of other famous Latin American artists, see: Famous Painters.
• For more about postmodernism, see: Homepage.

© visual-arts-cork.com. All rights reserved.