Fernando Botero *
(born in Medellin, Colombia in 1932; lives and works in Paris and New York)
Bather, 1990, signed and numbered Botero 3/6 and with the foundry mark underneath, bronze with dark brown patina, 30.5 x 50.7 x 23 cm, (MCC)
Photo certificate issued by the artist, dated 2012
Private European Collection
Fernando Botero, Recent Sculpture (exhibition catalogue), Marlborough Gallery New York, 1990, p. 18–19, no. 9 (another from the edition ill.);
J. C. Lambert & B. Villegas, Botero Sculptures, Villegas, Bogotà, 1998, no. 173 (another from the edition ill.)
In one story of The Arabian Nights it is told that the most desirable creature in the harem of Harun-al-Rashid was a young woman with such ample hips that she always had to lie down because, if she stood, she lost balance and fell (or perhaps, one should say, she overflowed). The identification of beauty with being slim is Western and modern, probably an Anglo-Saxon and certainly a Protestant prejudice. In ancient societies, in primitive cultures, in rural societies in the Catholic world, thinness provokes disgust and fear since it is associated with hunger and disease. The Greco-Latin tradition established a canon of beauty based on the harmony of the human form, which did not exclude robust figures; rather, in most historical periods, the robust form predominated. Even today, in rural Spain, the word hermoso (beautiful) when applied to a person, means fat.
When Fernando Botero was a boy, the tradition that equated beauty with abundance was very much alive in Latin America. It was fuelled by a whole erotic mythology found in magazine drawings, in obscene bar jokes, in fashion, songs, popular literature and, above all, in the films that Mexican cinema sent to all parts of the continent. The exuberant forms of those artists with their bouffant hairstyles, who sang boleros, danced huarachas and wore tight clothes which emphasized their breasts and buttocks with knowing vulgarity- these were the delights of our generation and stimulated our first desires- must have remained embedded in the subconscious of the boy from Medellin. Later they would become fused, in a strange alliance, with the Virgins and Madonnas of Quattrocento Italy, at whose feet Botero achieved his artistic maturity, to become the primary sources from which the enormous figures of his paintings emerged. Everything in Botero’s art comes from this process of alchemy: the aesthetic tradition of the West that he studied with devotion in Italy recast with his experience of provincial, exuberant and vital Latin America of his childhood.
From A Sumptuos Abundance, by Mario Vargas Llosa, Lima, 1984 (translation by John King, 1986) , from the catalogue of the exhibition “The enigma of Fernando Botero“, Moderna Museet, Stockholm, 2001/2002.
realized price**EUR 344,600USD 374,500
estimateEUR 200,000 to 250,000USD 217,500 to 271,500
Date: 31.05.2016, 18:00
Location: Palais Dorotheum Vienna
Exhibition: 21.05. - 31.05.2016
**Purchase price incl. all charges, commissions and taxes
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