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Fernando Botero: 1932—: Artist

Donated Paintings To Colombia

To help alleviate some of Colombia's collective dispirit, Botero donated some $120 million worth of paintings and sculpture to revive the country's visual-arts foundations. They included his own paintings as well as priceless works he had personally acquired by Picasso, Auguste Renoir, and Salvador Dali. The paintings were housed in a Bogotá museum and in a newly renovated showcase in Medellín, the Museum of Antioquia. The former city hall dominates a neighborhood that was once rife with crime and prostitution, but was rejuvenated with the help of government renovation and Botero's largesse. "What I am doing here is a justification for my life," he told the Los Angeles Times. "I have the sensation of doing something good for people, more than being a trendy artist or a successful artist …. Thousands of people are going to enjoy this. That's a tremendous pleasure."

Botero maintained homes in Tuscany, Colombia, Monte Carlo, New York City, and other places. Since 1976 the artist has been romantically linked with Greek-born sculptor Sophia Vari. He worked seven days a week, eight hours a day. "The truth is," he told Darling in the Los Angeles Times, "I haven't found anything more fun than work."



Contemporary Artists, fourth edition, St. James Press, 1996.

Dictionary of Hispanic Biography, Gale, 1996.

Faerna, José Marí, general editor, Botero, Cameo/Abrams, 1997.


Americas (English Edition), November-December 1996, p. 50, p. 52; March 2001, p. 60.

Art in America, November 1993, p. 50.

Christian Science Monitor, January 8, 2001, p. 6.

Dallas Morning News, February 5, 1996, p. 7A.

Economist, February 17, 2001, p. 7.

Florida Trend, August 1994, p. 57.

Los Angeles Times, November 2, 2000, p. A1.

People, December 13, 1993, p. 109.

WWD, April 3, 2001, p. 3.

—Carol Brennan

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Brief BiographiesBiographies: Shennen Bersani (1961-) Biography - Personal to Mark Burgess Biography - PersonalFernando Botero: 1932—: Artist Biography - Trained As Bullfighter, Developed Signature Style, Botero And The Medellín Cartel, Donated Paintings To Colombia