Fernando Botero
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Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero is a Colombian figurative artist who is noted for being proud of his Colombian roots and for his signature style.

His education took a different route as a child, when he attended a Jesuit school for bullfighters at the request of his uncle. In 1948, at the age of 16, he published his first set of illustrations. He produced this work for El Colombiano and used his wages to pay for his education. In 1949, he worked for a year as a set designer and his travels with fellow artists soon led him to Barcelona and Madrid.

It was in Madrid that he furthered his artistic education at the Academia de San Fernando, a prestigious academy where figures, such as Picasso, Dalí and Goya, either studied or worked. He lived in Paris in 1953, after which he then spent a couple of years studying Renaissance artwork in Italy. Just a few years later, he won the Salon de Artistas Colombianos, which was awarded to him in 1958 and officially put him in the international spotlight.

Regarding his work, paintings and sculptures that tend to focus on portraiture, you can't help but notice the depiction of people and figures given exaggeratedly large proportions, which he himself called "fat figures." You can find his artwork throughout the world, both in museums and galleries as well as in public spaces.