Artwork by Fernando Botero,  Compotier aux fruits

Fernando Botero
Compotier aux fruits

watercolour on paper
signed and dated 1980 lower right; signed, titled and dated on two gallery labels on the backing on the reverse
62.5 x 43.5 ins ( 158.8 x 110.5 cms ) ( sheet )

Auction Estimate: $225,000.00$175,000.00 - $225,000.00

Price Realized $150,000.00
Sale date: June 8th 2023

The Artist
Galerie Claude Bernard, Paris
Private Collection, New York
James Goodman Gallery, New York
Albert White Gallery, Toronto
Canadian Corporate Collection
French Art Fair, 1981
Edward J. Sullivan, “Botero Drawings and Watercolours”, New York, 1993, pages xxii-xxiii, reproduced page 116 is a scaled down version titled “Oranges”, 1980
“I describe in a realistic form a nonrealistic Reality.” - Fernando Botero

This impressive monumental watercolour on paper by Fernando Botero is painted in his signature style, referred to as ‘Boteroism’. The style is defined by figures and objects shown in large, exaggerated volumes, which can either represent the criticism of certain political figures or be simply whimsical and humorous. Here the large white compotier and its curves take the place of one of his characteristic voluminous female figures.

According to Edward J. Sullivan: “Botero’s numerous still lifes inevitably depict many of the fruits, vegetables, pastries, vessels, glassware, and other utensils associated with Columbian kitchens. His pencil drawings and watercolours, are sensuous evocations of the richness of the cuisine of his native country.”

Presented on a gathered red tablecloth, the vessel is overflowing with large fruits precariously balanced at the edge of the table. Staging the objects in this tilted, unbalanced way is a regular compositional device used by the artist, thus amplifying this sense of unreality. Interestingly, in certain European cultures, the orange is associated with the social status of noble men and women, serving as a visual representation of their wealth and prestige. In Colombian culture, however, the colour orange can also symbolize sexuality or fertility.

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Fernando Botero
(1932 - 2023)