Lot 2025: Fernando Botero (1932-2023), Nude Figure Reclining $177,800

Fernando Botero


Fernando Botero (1932-2023) is celebrated for his iconic style known as “Boterismo.” This distinctive approach, characterized by the depiction of people and figures in exaggerated volumes, has left an indelible mark on the art world, captivating audiences with its unique blend of political criticism and humor. Botero himself offered insight into his use of “large people,” as critics often refer to his subjects, stating, “An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.” This intuitive approach underscores Botero’s artistic process, allowing for the spontaneous expression of his creative vision.

Born on April 19, 1932, in Medellín, Colombia, Botero’s artistic journey began at a young age. At just 16 years old, he had his first illustrations published in the Sunday supplement of El Colombiano, using the earnings to fund his education at the Liceo de Marinilla de Antioquia. In 1952, Botero moved to Europe, studying at the Academia de San Fernando in Madrid before his relocation to Paris in 1953, where he studied the works of the Louvre and the Renaissance masters in Florence. Despite residing primarily in Paris, Botero remained deeply connected to his Colombian roots, spending one month annually in his native city of Medellín.

Notably, Botero’s art transcended mere aesthetic expression to confront social and political issues. Following a bombing incident targeting one of his sculptures in 1995, while his son, Fernando Botero Zea, was serving as Colombia’s Minister of Defense, Botero chose to leave the damaged sculpture in place as a “monument to the country’s imbecility and criminality” and donated an intact replica to stand alongside. In 2004, Botero exhibited a series of 27 drawings and 23 paintings confronting the violence in Colombia from 1999 through 2004. His Abu Ghraib series, exhibited in 2005, in response to alleged abuses of prisoners during the Iraq War, sparked international dialogue and reflection.

At the age of 91, Fernando Botero passed away on September 15, 2023. He leaves behind a rich legacy that continues to inspire and captivate audiences worldwide.

Past Lots

Fernando Botero (1932-2023), Couple dancing, 1980, Watercolor on paper laid to linen on board, 65.5" H x 42.75" W

Sold: $381,000

Fernando Botero (1932-2023), Nude figure reclining, 2002, Watercolor on paper mounted to archival board, Sheet: 31" H x 41" W

Sold: $177,800