Fernando Botero, the Colombian artist known for his plump and oversized figures, has passed away at the age of 91.

Investing / Thursday, 02 November 2023 14:29

Fernando Botero, one of Latin America's most renowned artists, has died. According to his daughter, Lina Botero, the 91-year-old Colombian artist had been suffering from complications of pneumonia and passed away at his home in Monaco.

"Fernando Botero, an artist of our traditions and flaws, an artist of our virtues," said Colombian President Gustavo Petro on social media.

In his paintings and sculptures, Botero often depicted chubby, whimsical figures that satirized the upper class of his native Colombia.

He was born in Medellin, the son of a traveling salesman and a seamstress, and once dreamed of becoming a bullfighter.

Sponsor Message

He spent much of his life in Europe and the United States but frequently returned to Colombia for inspiration. In his hometown, a week of mourning has been declared in his honor.

The works of Colombian artist Fernando Botero are displayed at the Bowers Museum in Santa Ana, California, on September 10, 2009. The exhibition "The World of Fernando Botero in Baroque Style" marked Botero's first major retrospective in the United States in over 30 years. Damian Dovarganes/AP Botero's works are instantly recognizable. His figures are plump and slightly absurd, giving rise to the term "Boterismo" to describe the voluptuous, almost cartoonish figures in his works.

One painting depicts a Roman Catholic cardinal fast asleep in his priestly attire. Another portrays a snake about to bite a woman posing for a family portrait.

Later in his career, Botero turned to darker themes, such as the violence associated with drug trafficking in Colombia. During an open-air concert in his hometown of Medellin in 1995, Revolutionary Armed Forces of Colombia (FARC) guerrillas planted an explosive device beneath his bronze sculpture "Bird," resulting in the deaths of over 20 people and injuring more than 200.

An exhibition dedicated to Colombian artist Fernando Botero is seen during a press preview at the Vittoriano Museum in Rome on May 4, 2017. Tiziana Fabi/AFP via Getty Images He also created works depicting the abuses committed by the United States in the Abu Ghraib prison in Iraq. "These works are the result of the outrage that violations in Iraq stirred in me and the rest of the world," he said.

His works enjoyed immense popularity, sometimes selling for millions of dollars, and adorned major museums as well as prominent locations like the Champs-Élysées in Paris and Park Avenue in New York City, as well as his hometown of Medellin and the capital, Bogota, where the Botero Museum is located.