Fernando Botero, a renowned artist known for his unique style, passed away at the age of 91 in Monaco after battling pneumonia.

This was announced earlier today by Colombia’s president, Gustavo Prieto, through his social media. His cause of death was confirmed by his close friend Mauricio Vallejo. 

Botero did the occasional still-lifes and landscapes, but his distinctive portraits made him stand out. Both his paintings and sculptures were depictions of voluminous figures with childlike features in various settings. 

“An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why,” he once said. “You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it.”

He painted plump people not just for their appearance but also to capture the sensuality of form.

In an interview with the Spanish newspaper El Mundo, he said, “I am interested in volume, the sensuality of form. If I paint a woman, a man, a dog, or a horse, I always do with this idea of the volume.”

Fernando Botero was born in Medellín, Colombia, in 1932 as the second of three sons. Unfortunately, his father passed away when he was just four years old. Subsequently, his uncle enrolled him in a Jesuit high school and a matador school. However, it didn’t take long for Fernando to realize that art was his true calling.

At 16, he published his first illustrations in a Medellin newspaper in 1948. Two years later, he had his first solo show in Bogota.

Botero won an art prize at the age of 20, after which he left Columbia for Europe. He first went to Madrid, where he made a living by painting and selling copies of Old Masters before moving to Italy and Paris. Today, his paintings and sculptures are exhibited worldwide.

“You paint what you know best, what you went through as a teenager and child. My world is the one I got to know in Medellin; I never paint anything else other than that,” Botero once said. 

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