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Born in Medellín, Colombia, 1932


Fernando Botero's distinctive style of smooth inflated shapes with unexpected shifts in scale is today instantly recognizable. It reflects the artist's constant search to give volume presence and reality. The parameters of proportion in his world are innovative and almost always surprising. Appropriating themes from all of art history–from the Middle Ages, the Italian quattrocento, and Latin American colonial art to the modern trends of the 20th century, Botero transforms them to his own particular style.


Botero was born in Medellín, Colombia in 1932. He started painting at a very early age, depicting scenes of bullfighting and selling them at the arena for a few pennies. He participated in his first exhibition in Medellín in 1948 and his first solo exhibition in 1951 at the Leo Matiz Gallery. In 1952, he was awarded a second prize at the National Salon in Bogotá, which enabled him to travel abroad. Botero then went to Europe in 1950 to study in Madrid the work of Velazquez and Goya, at the Academy of San Fernando and Florence, Italy where he learned the fresco techniques of Renaissance masters. In 1956, he taught at the School of Fine Art at the University of Bogotá, Colombia and went on long visits to Mexico to study the work of Rivera and Orozco. In 1959 he won first prize at the Salón de Artistas Colombianos. In 1969 he was invited to present his work at the Museum of Modern Art, New York that established his reputation worldwide. Major museums, corporations and private institutions collect his art.

His paintings, sculptures, and drawings are exhibited and represented in museum collections throughout the world. Among the most prominent are: The Baltimore Museum of Art (Maryland, USA), the Israel Museum (Jerusalem), The Metropolitan Museum of Art (New York), Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.), Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas (Venezuela), Museo de Arte Moderno Bogota (Colombia), Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes (Santiago, Chile), The Museum of Modern Art (New York), Nue Pinakothek (Munich), Pushkin Museum (Moscow), The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum (New York), Wallraf-Richartz Museum (Cologne, Germany) and The State Hermitage Museum (Saint Petersburg, Russia).

The artist lives and works in Paris, New York, Monte Carlo and Pietrasanta, Italy.

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