Colombian painter and sculptor Fernando Botero, one of the most important Latin American artists of the 20th century, famous for his voluminous and robust figures, died Friday at the age of 91 in Monaco, where he lived for part of the year.
“Fernando Botero, the painter of our traditions and defects, the painter of our virtues, has died. The painter of our violence and our peace. Of the dove a thousand times rejected and a thousand times placed on his throne,” wrote the social network X the president of Colombia, Gustavo Petro.
Ha muerto Fernando Botero, el pintor de nuestras tradiciones y defectos, el pintor de nuestras virtudes. El pintor de nuestra violencia y de la paz.— Gustavo Petro (@petrogustavo) September 15, 2023
De la paloma mil veces desechada y mil veces puesta en su trono
“He was in delicate health, he had been in stiff Parkinson’s for several years” and “he developed pneumonia in the last five days (…) There came a time when it was becoming very difficult for him to breathe, fortunately, he died peacefully,” the artist’s daughter, Lina, told Blu Radio of Colombia.
7 days of mourning in Medellín
Medellin, the hometown of Colombian artist Fernando Botero, decreed this Friday seven days of mourning for the death of the painter and sculptor.
“We are going to decree seven days of mourning in which we will pay tribute in Botero Square and the different places in the city where his work is embodied and will live forever,” expressed the mayor, Daniel Quintero, in a video sent to the media.
He also communicated this in X: “In Medellin we regret with pain in our souls the death of master Botero. His life, his work, his love for Medellín and Colombia will last forever.
Medellín decrees 7 days of mourning and will pay tribute from Plaza Botero and other places where his legacy will remain forever”.
Who was Fernando Botero?
Born in 1932 in Medellin, in the center of Colombia, he is considered one of the greatest Latin American plastic artists of the 20th century, also celebrated in world art auctions in New York or London.
“He continued painting until the end, no longer in oil because it was hard for him to stand but he worked in watercolor,” his daughter pointed out.
For years, Botero divided his life between a village in Tuscany (Italy), New York, Medellin and Monaco.
Since 1976 he was married to Greek artist Sophia Vari, who passed away in May 2023. “Since Sophia died, his soul mate of 48 years of life, my dad suffered a very hard blow, it gave him an infinite sadness,” lamented his daughter Lina.