Fernando Botero (Colombian, b.1932) is celebrated for his painted and sculpted scenes featuring animals and figures with inflated proportions, reflecting the artist’s predilection for satire, caricature, and political commentary. Born in Medellin, Colombia, Botero began exhibiting his paintings there in 1948, and later worked as a set designer in Bogotá. In the 1950s, he traveled to several different European countries, including Spain, Italy, and France, to study the work of Renaissance and Baroque masters. He also traveled to Mexico to familiarize himself with the current Mexican avant-garde. Botero became renowned for the varied source material he drew upon, from Colombian folk imagery to canonical works by Diego Velázquez, Pablo Picasso, and Francisco de Goya.

In his depictions of contemporary Latin American life, he portrays the poverty and violence prevalent in Colombia in somber images, as well as in his iconic inflated figures, satiric images of Latin American presidents, first ladies, and government officials. A meeting with Dorothy Miller from The Museum of Modern Art in the early 1960s proved to be a turning point in his career; she acquired his work at a time when abstraction was the celebrated idiom, and he later exhibited his work in a major exhibition at the museum, solidifying his international reputation.

In the 1970s, Botero moved to Paris, where he created large figural sculptures with his signature inflated forms. He remains engaged with images of his Latin American home city, and with overtly political imagery; his recent works include large paintings of prisoners at Abu Ghraib in a direct commentary on the war in Iraq. Botero has exhibited his work at the Museum of Modern Art in Copenhagen, the Maillol Museum in Paris, the Palazzo Benezia in Rome, the Hermitage Museum in St. Petersburg, and the National Museum in Bogotá. He currently lives and works in Paris, Montecarlo, and New York.


Born in Medellin, Colombia
Graduated from Medellin University
Studied, San Fernando Academy and the Prado Museum, Madrid, Spain
Studied fresco techniques and art history, Florence, Italy
Returned to Colombia
Took up residence in New York
Won Guggenheim National Prize for Colombia
Visited Italy and Germany; studied work of Dürer in Munich and Nuremberg, Germany
Moved to Paris, France
Lives and works in Paris, Monte Carlo, Pietrasanta, and New York


Museo Bellas Artes de Bilbao, Bilbao, Spain
Una celebración, Palacio Bellas Artes de México, Mexico
Hommage zum 80. Geburtstag, Botero - Gemälde, Skulpturen und Zeichnungen, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
Art is deformation, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY (solo)
Inaurgural Exhibition: Fernando Botero, David Benrimon Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Latinas!, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, NY
Gary Nader Fine Art, Coral Gables, FL
Fernando Botero: The Circus. James Goodman Gallery, New York, NY
El Dolor de Colombia, Pinacoteca Diego Rivero, Xalapa, Veracruz, Mexico
The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, Brooks Museum of Art, Memphis, TN; New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA; Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE
Botero: Oeuvres récentes, Marlborough Monaco, Monte Carlo, Monaco (solo)
Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib, University of California, Berkeley, CA (solo)
The Baroque World of Fernando Botero, Musée National des Beaux-Arts du Québec, Canada (solo)
Delaware Art Museum, Wilmington, DE (solo)
New Orleans Museum of Art, New Orleans, LA (solo)
Summer Exhibition, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Latin Masters, Nassau County Museum of Art, Roslyn Harbor, New York, NY
Fernando Botero, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany (solo)
Malerei und Skulptur, Samuelis Baumgarte Galerie, Bielefeld, Germany
Sculpture, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Summer Group Show, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Fernando Botero, Athens Concert Hall, Greece (solo)
Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY (solo)
Landscape, Cityscape, Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Palazzo Venezia, Rome, Italy
The Art Museum, Singapore
The Doge’s Palace and other locations, Venice, Italy
The Gemeente Museum, Aja
The Maillol Museum, Paris, France
Museum of Modern Art, Copenhagen, Denmark
Moderna Musset, Stockholm, Sweden
The Museum of Antioquìa, Medellìn, Colombia
San Paolo Museum of Art, San Paolo, Brazil
The National Museum of Fine Arts, Rio de Janeiro, Brazil
The Monterey Museum of Contemporary Art, Monterey, CA
The Art Museum, Tel Aviv, Israel
The Modern Art Museum of Lugano, Lugano, Switzerland
The National Musuum of Fine Arts, Santiago, Chile
The Israel Museum, Jerusalem, Israel
The Art Museum of the Americas, Washington, DC
Niigata Prefectoral Modern Art Museum, Niigata, Japan
Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, South Korea
The Sofia Imber Museum of Contemporary Art, Caracas, Venezuela
Museo of Art, Takamatsu City, Japan
Shinjuku Mitsukoshi Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
Iwaki City Art Museum, Iwaki, Japan
Helsinki City Art Museum, Helsinki, Finland
The National Museum of Fine Arts, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Paseo de Recolet, Madrid, Spain
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Buenos Aires, Argentina
Paseo de Recoletes, Madrid, Spain
Museum of Art, Fort Lauderdale, FL
Montecarlo Kunsthaus, Vienna, Austria
Champs-Elysées, Paris, France
The Hermitage Museum, Saint Petersburg, Russia
Exhibition Palace, Rome, Italy
The Coro Museum of the Arts, Coro, Venezuela
The Contemporary Museum of Art, Caracas, Venezuela
The Rufino Tamayo Museum, Oaxaca, Mexico
The Queen Sofia Center for the Arts, Madrid, Spain
The Contemporary Art Museum, Caracas, Venezuela
Municipal Art Museum, Niigata, Japan
Museum of Art, Albany, NY
The National Museum, Bogota, Colombia
The Ponce Museum, Puerto Rico
The Munson-Williams-Proctor Museum of Art, Ithaca, NY
The Everhard Museum, Scranton, PA
The Herbert F. Johnson Museum, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY
The Veranneman Foundation, Belgium
The Civic Museum of Art, Osaka, Japan
The Seibu Museum of Art, Tokyo, Japan
The d’Ixelles Museum, Brussels, Belgium
The Hirschorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Washington, DC
The South Texas Museum of Art, Corpus Christi, TX
Sculpture Museum of the city of Marl, Marl, Germany
The Medellìn Museum of Art, Medellìn, Colombia
The Museum of Comtemporary Art, Caracas, Venezuela
The Boymans van Beuningen Museum, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
Marlborough Gallery, New York, NY
Buchholz, Munich, Germany
Claude Bernard, Paris, France
Fernando Botero: Bilder 1962-1969, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany; Traveled to: Haus am Waldsee, Berlin, Germany; Stadtische Kunsthalle, Dusseldorf, Germany; Kunstverein, Hamburg, Germany; and Kunsthalle, Bielefeld, Germany
Botero, Galerie Buchholz, Munich, Germany
Fernando Botero, Hanover Gallery, London, UK
Fernando Botero, Center for Inter-American Relations, New York, NY
Botero: Peintures, pastels, fusains, Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris, France
Inflated Images, Museum of Modern Art, New York, NY
Botero, Galería Juana Mordó, Madrid, Spain
Botero, Galerie Buchholz, Munich, Germany
Fernando Botero, Staatliche Kunsthalle, Baden-Baden, Germany; Traveled to: Galerie Buchholz, Munich, Germany, Galerie Brusberg, Hanover, Germany
Fernando Botero: Recent Works, Milwaukee Art Center, Milwaukee, WI
Botero: Recent Works, Zora Gallery, Los Angeles, CA
Cordoba Bienale, Argentina
Fernando Botero: Bosquejos realidades, Galería Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia
Fernando Botero: Obras recientes, Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogotá, Colombia
7 Contemporary Painters, Museum of Modern Art, Bogota
Botero, Gres Gallery, Chicago, IL
Botero, The Contemporaries, New York, NY
Botero, Galería de Arte El Callejón, Bogotá, Colombia
Botero, Gres Gallery, Washington, DC
Botero: Obras recientes, Biblioteca Nacional de Colombia, Sala Gregorio Vásquez, Bogotá, Colombia
Fernando Botero: Oleos, Galería Antonio Souza, Mexico D.F., Mexico
Fernando Botero: Recent Oils, Watercolors, Drawings, Gres Gallery, Washington, DC
Pan American Union, Washington, DC
Biblioteca Nacional, Bogota, Colombia
Leo Matiz Gallery, Bogota, Colombia

Public Collections

Pushkin Museum, Moscow, Russia
Setagaya Art Museum, Tokyo
The Solomon R. Guggenheim Museum, New York
Sonje Museum of Contemporary Art, Kyongju, Korea
Staatgalerie Moderne Kunst, Munich, Germany
Tel Aviv Museum of Art, Tel Aviv, Israel
The State Hermitage Museum, St. Petersburg, Russia
Tokushima Modern Art Museum, Japan
Wallraf-Richartz-Museum, Cologne, Germany
Yamanashi Prefectural Museum of Art, Japan
Museo Nacional, Bogota, Colombia
Museo Nacional de Bellas Artes, Santiago, Chile
Museum of Art, The Pennsylvania State University, University Park, Pennsylvania
Museum of Art, The Rhode Island School of Design, Providence, Rhode Island
Museum Moderne Kunst, Vienna, Austria
The Museum of Modern Art, New York
The Museum of Modern Art, Saitama, Japan
Neue Pinakothek, Munich, Germany
Niigata Prefectoral Modern Art Museum, Niigata, Japan
Ponce Museum of Art, Ponce, Puerto Rico
Meadow Brook Art Gallery, Oakland University, Rochester, Michigan
The Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York
M.H.K. Foundation, Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Milwaukee Art Museum, Wisconsin
Miyagi Museum of Art, Japan
Museo d’Arte Moderna del Vaticano, Rome, Italy
Museo de Antioquia, Medellín, Colombia
Museo de Arte Contemporaneo de Caracas, Venezuela
Museo de Arte Moderno, Bogota, Colombia
Museo de Bellas Artes, Caracas, Venezuela
Gelerie-Verein, Munich, Germany
The Grey Art Gallery and Study Center, New York University Art Collection, New York
Guild Hall Museum, East Hampton, New York
Hiroshima City Museum of Contemporary Art, Japan
Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden, Smithsonian Institution, Washington, DC
Ho-am Museum, Seoul, South Korea
Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire
Israel Museum, Jerusalem
Kunsthalle Nuremberg, Germany
Lowe Art Museum, University of Miami, Coral Gables, Florida
Archer M. Huntington Art Gallery, University of Texas at Austin, Texas
Astrup Museum, Oslo, Norway
Ateneumin Taidemuseo, Helsinki, Finland
The Baltimore Museum of Art, Baltimore, Maryland
Birmingham Museum of Art, Birmingham, Alabama
Collezione d’Arte Religiosa Moderna, Monumenti, Musei e Gallerie Pontificie, Vatican City, Italy
Coleccion Fernando Botero, Fundacion Santander Central Hispano, Medellin, Colombia
Donacion Fernando Botero, Coleccion Banco de la Republica, Santa Fe de Bogota, Colombia
Edwin A. Ulrich Museum of Art, Wichita State University, Kansas
Fondation Veranneman, Kruishoutem, Belgium


Castro Flórez, Fernando. Fernando Botero: Abu Ghraib, El circo. Valencia : Institut Valencià d'Art Modern, 2008
Buysschaert, M., Chiappini, R., Malerba, F., Ruzzante, A., (eds.) Botero: works 1994-2007. Milan; NY: Distributed in North America by Rizzoli International Publications, 2007
Ebony, D. Botero : Abu Ghraib. Munich ; New York : Prestel, c2006.
Sillevis, J., Elliott, E., Sullivan, E.J. The Baroque world of Fernando Botero. Alexandria, Va. : Art Services International ; New Haven : In association with Yale University Press, 2006
Strinati, C., Veltroni, W., Botero : the last 15 years. Roma : De Luca Editori d’Arte, c2005 (catalogue)
Gribaudo, P., Fuentes, C., Botero: women. New York : Rizzoli : Distributed to the U.S. trade by St. Martin’s Press, 2003
Botero: monumental sculpture. New York : Marlborough Gallery, 2001 (catalogue)
Sullivan, E. J., Tasset, J. M. Fernando Botero: monograph & catalogue raisonné : paintings 1975-1990. Lausanne : Acatos, 2000 (catalogue raisonné)
Escallon, Ana Maria (artist interview). BOTERO New Works on Canvas. New York : Rizzoli International, 2000.
Villegas, B., Fumaroli, M., Botero drawings. Bogota : Villegas Editores, 1999
Lambert, J. C., Villegas, B., Botero sculptures. Bogotá : Villegas Editores, 1998
Fernando Botero: drawings and watercolors on canvas. New York : Marlborough, 1998 (catalogue)
Escallón, A. M., Botero: new works on canvas. New York : Rizzoli International Publications, 1997
Aguirre, E. (et al.), Botero : la corrida. adrid : Ministerio de Educación y Cultura : Fundación Central Hispano : Communidad de Madrid, 1997 (catalogue)
Sullivan, E.J., Fernando Botero: drawings and watercolors. New York : Rizzoli, 1993
Gribaudo, P. Botero Affreschi - Chiesa della Misericordia, Pietrasanta. Torino: Stamperia Artistica Nazionale, 1993 (catalogue)
Fernando Botero: drawings on canvas. New York, NY : Marlborough Gallery, 1993 (catalogue)
Cau, J. Botero aux Champs-Elysées “La Corrida aux Grand Palais”. Paris: Mairie de Paris and Didier Imbert Fine Art. Edition of 3, Sculptures et Œuvres sur Papier,” by Pierre Daix, “Sculptures Monumentales,” by Charles Virmaître, 1992 (catalogue)
Sullivan, E.J. Botero: Aquarelles et Dessins. Madrid: Lerner & Lerner, 1992(catalogue)
Vargas Llosa, Mario. Botero: Dessins et Aquarelles. Paris: Editions de la Difference, (nd), 1992 (catalogue)
Pacifico, M., Silvestro S., and Giorgio Van Straten. Botero al Forte Belvedere di Firenze. Florence: Tipolito Press, 1991 (catalogue)
Caballero Bonald, J. M. Botero: the bullfight. New York, N.Y. : Rizzoli, 1990
Gribaudo, P. Botero. Milan: Gruppo Editoriale Fabbri, 1990
Soavi, Giorgio. Fernando Botero - Œuvres 1959-1989. Paris: Celiv, 1990 (catalogue)
Sullivan, E. J. Botero, sculpture. New York : Abbeville Press, 1986
Ratcliff, C. Fernando Botero: recent work. November 7 -December 2, 1980. Marlborough Gallery, New York: the Gallery, 1980 (catalogue)
Jaffee McCabe, C. Fernando Botero: Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden. Washington : Smithsonian Institution Press, 1979 (catalogue)
Fernando Botero. New York, Marlborough Gallery, 1975 (catalogue)
Fernando Botero.April-maggio. Roma : Marlborough galleria d'arte, 1973 (catalogue)