Colombian artist Fernando Botero, recognised for his rotund, plump figures, has passed away in Monaco at the age of 91. Botero painted all his subjects, from politicians to animals, religious figures and scenes from his childhood in rounded forms that were distinct and immediately identifiable as his own. From Pope Leo X (after the famous Raphael portrait) to the victims of Abu Ghraib, Botero’s signature style was consistent across all contexts. ‘An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why’, Botero has described. ‘You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalise or even justify it.’
Botero was born on April 19, 1932 in Medellín, Colombia. As a child he enrolled in a bullfighting school but he soon left the profession, though he captured it in many of his paintings later in life along with multiple circus scenes. He worked as a set designer and newspaper illustrator before his paintings and sculptures brought him world renown.