Botero in Pera

Known for his inflated human figures, Fernando Botero is in Istanbul with 64 of his works.

One of the world’s greatest living artists, Fernando Botero was born in Colombia on August 19, 1932. Becoming interested in bull-fighting at the age of 12, he wanted to be a matador until he encountered his first bull and only saw his first painting when he was 19 years old. Finally realizing that he was a great painter when his works were exhibited simultaneously at five different museums in Germany in 1969, the artist owes his fame in no small part to his having reinterpreted the masterpieces of art history in his own inimitable style. Among them Leonardo da Vinci’s ‘Mona Lisa’, Manet’s ‘Luncheon on the Grass’ and Velázquez’s ‘Las Meninas’ (The Maids of Honor). Sculptures by Botero, whose sculptures like his paintings are deliberately round and tubby, are found in a number of major cities around the world. On New York’s Park Avenue, on the Champs-Elysées in Paris, and in front of the Pitti Palace at Florence.  It is a matter of curiosity what sort of sculpture this artist, who works mainly in bronze and marble, is going to leave behind in Istanbul. Botero’s exhibition, spread over three floors of the Pera Museum, boasts titles such as ‘Still Life’, ‘Adaptations’, ‘Bull Fight’, ‘Circus’, ‘Latin American Life’ and ‘Latin American People’. July 18th is the last day for the Fernando Botero exhibition.