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Fernando Botero (Colombian, b.1932)
LOT ID: 77529
Rosita, 1975

Graphite, Watercolor, on paper
27.5 х 19.5 in. (69.85 x 49.53 cm.)
Signed, and dated on recto, lower right. Framed, with original gallery label affixed to back.
Lot description
Image size is 27.5 by 19.5 inches (69.5 by 49.5 cm). Framed size is 32.5 by 26.5 inches (82.5 by 67.3 cm).

This portrait of "Rosita," a character who figures in other works by Botero, is executed in the style that has characterized the artist's work since 1960: the exaggerated rendering of round, corpulent animals and humans. Women are a favorite subject for Botero, whose paintings revel in the plasticity of the female anatomical form. In this charcoal and watercolor work, the artist gives a tranquil, whimsical view of Rosita from the shoulders up, making it one of Botero's most contemplative and humanistic portraits. The artist highlighted the work with touches of white paint to further enhance the volume and emotional aspects of this gentle portrait.

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 in his work. Born in Medellin, Botero began exhibiting his paintings there in 1948, and later worked as a set designer in Bótoga. 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 Rodriguez de Silva y 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 portraits of inflated figures, typically satiric portrayals 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 Bótoga. He currently lives and works in Paris, Monte Carlo, and New York.
Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
  • Rosita by Fernando Botero
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