Fernando Botero - Niño con un pájaro

Fernando Botero - Niño con un pájaro - image-1
Fernando Botero - Niño con un pájaro - image-1

Fernando Botero

Niño con un pájaro

Oil on canvas. 104.5 x 84 cm. Framed. Signed and dated 'Botero 65'. Signed, dated, and titled 'Botero 65 "NIÑO CON UN PAJARO"' verso on canvas with dimensions, numbered '13' and a discarded inscription. - Minor traces of age.

Round forms and large figures are the trademarks of the Columbian Fernando Botero whose expressive style developed from the 1950s onwards. The artist transforms the voluminosity of people and animals, but also other objects, thereby creating an aesthetic in which the rules of proportion are suspended. His art concentrates not just on individual people, but revolves around the idea of form which reveals itself in the diverse bodies. The universal themes of his work sprang from a fascination of the early Renaissance and his particular interest in the paintings of the Trecento and Quattrocento from artists such as Giotto, Masaccio, Uccello and Piero della Francesca. The voluminous forms in the works of Peter Paul Rubens also serve as an early source of inspiration.
With two motifs, Nino con un pàjaro (Boy with a Bird) offers a reduced pictorial composition. Made in 1965, the work is from the artist's early oeuvre, in which Botero's sculptural painting style matures. He develops an integrated, aesthetic concept from the figurative world of motifs and his methods of exaggeration, which in turn shapes his whole artistic creativity.
''The constant and all-embracing exaggeration and its continual repetition within an artistic oeuvre (…) makes the deformation the rule and through this turns it into a style. Deformation without a superior reason and only for its own sake is either monstrous or caricaturing. Neither one nor the other applies to Botero. It is, rather, always the wish to increase the sensual quality of the pictures which arises from its deformation.'' (Mariana Hanstein, Fernando Botero, Cologne 2003, p.49-4).
The shaping strokes remain visible in this early painting, emphasising the lively appearance of the youth. The visible brushwork is classed as a particular trademark of the artist's early work, who applied a flat, formative painting technique to his later works.
Despite the voluminous appearance of the physique, the youth still comes across as gentle and trusting. The extended feet make him appear to float, whilst the left hand delicately and lovingly holds the small bird. Botero's passion for classical painting subjects and his use of iconographic pictorial motifs are manifest in the picture's theme. In this context, the motif of the naked youth with a bird also suggests associations reminiscent of the Christ child. The thistle finch represents purity, and the red colour of its head symbolises the path of suffering of Christ. Furthermore, a compositional precedent can be found in Bronzino's masterpiece Ritratto di Giovanni de' Medici, 1545 (Uffizi, Rome) in which the iconic bird motif is also taken up.


Accompanied by a written confirmation from the artist, Paris, via email dated 05 June 2016.


Private collection, Lower Saxony


Baden-Baden 1970 (Staatliche Kunsthalle), Fernando Botero, exhib.cat.no.17, p.91, with illus.33

Lot 410 D

250.000 €

248.000 €