Art Study in Spanish | Fernando Botero – Latin American Art

notebook page with pictures of artwork by Fernando Botero

Fernando Botero is one of Colombia’s most famous painters and sculptors. Read about his life and look at his artwork below. This biography and gallery is helpful to describe art in Spanish as a way to practice all the language skills on your own, in a group, or classroom.

Your plan this year is to build language skills in Spanish on your own or with your students. It can take hours of work to pull together the resources to describe art in Spanish. I’m here to help you with the exact steps to quickly start an engaging art discussion.

Art Study in Spanish can grow all four language skills in 15 to 30 minutes of practice time. Each of the five steps focuses on at least one of the skills of listening, speaking, reading, and writing. The tasks match the learners’ skill level – beginning to advanced.

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You can use this article as a source for the lesson.

Biography of Fernando Botero

Who is Fernando Botero?

Fernando Botero is an artist with a unique style, called boterismo. Often called fat, his figures are unrealistically enlarged and contrasted with small features. This is his study of volume. In the middle of his career as a painter, he began sculpting people and animals in this same enlarged style.

Fernando Botero Art Study in Spanish
Self Portrait of Fernando Botero

Biographical Information

  • Name – Fernando Botero Angulo
  • Birthdate – April 19, 1932
  • Birthplace – Medelliín, Columbia
  • Education – Academia de San Fernando in Madrid, Spain
  • Present – Botero lives in Paris, France, and Pietrasanta, Italy with his wife Sophia Vari who is a Greek artist.

¿Quién es Fernando Botero?

Fernando Botero es un artista con un estilo único, llamado boterismo. A menudo llamado gordo, sus figuras se agrandan de manera poco realista y contrastan con rasgos pequeños. Este es su estudio del volumen. En el medio de su carrera como pintor, comenzó a esculpir personas y animales en este mismo estilo ampliado.

Información biográfica

  • Nombre – Fernando Botero Angulo
  • Fecha de nacimiento: 19 de abril de 1932 (mil novecientos treinta y dos)
  • Lugar de nacimiento – Medelliín, Columbia
  • Educación – Academia de San Fernando en Madrid, España
  • Presente: Botero vive en París, Francia, y Pietrasanta, Italia, con su esposa Sophia Vari, que es una artista griega.

Fernando Botero – Painting Gallery

Fernando Botero’s Artistic Style

Also, his style is described as primitive. Everything is shown in a simplified form. This is shown in the objects, rooms, and homes along with outdoor natural scenery and large people and animals. The outdoor colors are earthy oranges, bright blues, and vibrant greens in the outdoors. The foods, fabrics, and clothing are combined in a wide variety of bright colors.

estilo artistico de fernando botero

Además, su estilo también se describe como primitivo. Todo se muestra de forma simplificada. Esto se muestra en los objetos, habitaciones y hogares, junto con paisajes naturales al aire libre y grandes personas y animales. Los colores del exterior son naranjas terrosos, azules brillantes y verdes vibrantes en el exterior.Los alimentos, las telas y la ropa se combinan en una amplia variedad de colores brillantes.

Fernando Botero’s Message

Although the style is simplified, the message is open, sincere, and meaningful. The artwork he creates is easily understood without formal art training. His message is often humorous and critical at the same time. In some of his artwork, he speaks against violence.

mensaje de fernando botero

Aunque el estilo está simplificado, el mensaje es abierto, sincero y profundo. La obra de arte que crea es fácil de entender sin la formación artística formal. Su mensaje es a menudo humorístico y crítico al mismo tiempo. En algunas de sus obras, habla contra la violencia.

Interesting Facts about Fernando Botero…

  • In his youth, he trained for 2 years to be a bullfighter.
  • He first learned of “this thing called art” when he was 15 years old.
  • To pay for high school he created illustrations for a magazine.
  • He spent time in Madrid, Florence, and Paris studying the masters. His favorite – Rubens.
  • His first works were criticized for not having a unique style, so he sold tires for a living.
  • The style called boterismo was developed from a mistake of drawing a circle too small on a mandolin.
  • Later he started making sculptures in Paris, in the 1970’s
  • His sculptures are on display in public places all over the world.
  • Today his artworks sell for over $1 million (over $2.5 million occasionally).

Datos curiosos sobre Fernando Botero…

  • Botero nació en Colombia en el año 1932 (mil novecientos treinta y dos).
  • En su juventud se entrenó durante 2 años para ser un torero.
  • Se enteró de “esta cosa llamada arte” cuando tenía 15 años.
  • Para pagar la preparatoria creó ilustraciones para una revista.
  • Pasó un tiempo en Madrid, Florencia y París estudiando a los maestros. Su favorito – Rubens.
  • Sus primeros trabajos fueron criticados por no tener un estilo único, por lo que vendió neumáticos para ganarse la vida.
  • El estilo llamado boterismo se desarrolló a partir de un error dibujando un círculo demasiado pequeño.
  • Más tarde comenzó a hacer esculturas en París, en la década de 1970.
  • Sus esculturas se exhiben en lugares públicos de todo el mundo.
  • Hoy en día, sus obras de arte se venden por más de $ 1 millón (incluso más de $ 2.5 millones ocasionalmente).

Fernando Botero Quotes

Known to be the most quoted Latin American Artist today, here is what he has to say:

Art should be an oasis: a place of refuge from the hardness of life.

My popularity has to do with the divorce between modern art, where everything is obscure, and the viewer who often feels he needs a professor to tell them whether it’s good or not. I believe a painting has to talk directly to the viewer, with composition, color, and design, without a professor to explain it.

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.”

I have seen Colonial churches since I was very small, Colonial painting and polychrome sculpture. And that was all I saw. There was not a single modern painting in any museum, not a Picasso, Not a Braque, not a Chagall. The museums had Columbian painters from the eighteenth century and, of course, I saw Pre-Columbian art. That was my exposure.

I describe in a realistic form a nonrealistic reality.

A painted landscape is always more beautiful than a real one because there’s more there. Everything is more sensual, and one takes refuge in its beauty. And man needs spiritual expression and nourishing. It’s why even in the prehistoric era, people would scrawl pictures of bison on the walls of caves. Man needs music, literature, and painting – all those oases of perfection that make up art – to compensate for the rudeness and materialism of life.

Want to see more of his art?

Often he has paintings and sculptures on public display all over the world. Also, out on the street, his sculptures are in every major city worldwide. In the United States, some of his paintings and sculptures are found at:

  • Washington DC Smithsonian Institute
  • Florida University of Miami Coral Gables
  • Michigan University of Rochester
  • New York Art Metropolitan, MOMA Museum of Modern Art, Guggenheim, Time Warner Center
  • Wisconsin Art of Milwaukee
  • University of California Berkley
  • Hawaii Grand Wailea Resort Maui, Botero Gallery
  • Louisiana New Orleans Museum of Art
  • New Hampshire Dartmouth College of Hanover
  • Park Avenue in New York

My gallery’s painting images are from Wiki art online gallery. A collection of Fernando Botero’s paintings are available to view online at There is a lot more to see.

Want a way to enjoy Latin American / Colombian culture while learning Spanish?

Introducing… Art Study in Spanish Curriculum

The Art Study in Spanish Bundle is your go-to resource for describing art in Spanish. You’ll have everything you need to describe an artwork in Spanish:

Build all five language skills

  • Listening
  • Reading
  • Speaking
  • Writing
  • Grammar

Resources to describe:

  • the story,
  • the element,
  • the design principles of art in Spanish.

Each step easily lays out the questions and answer prompts for beginner through advanced proficiency levels. Your student can demonstrate their learning on an interactive worksheet.

Optin Art Study Horizontal

Or you can pull together bits and pieces for talking about art on your own over time.

Describing Art in Spanish | Spanish Art Vocabulary

Free Spanish Art Vocabulary Worksheet

Art Study in Spanish Bundle

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