FERNANDO BOTERO (b. 1932) Seated Woman, 2006 (This work is number four from an edition of six.)

This lot has been removed from the website, please contact customer services for more information

Lot 39
FERNANDO BOTERO
(b. 1932)
Seated Woman, 2006

US$ 200,000 - 300,000
£ 160,000 - 250,000
PROPERTY OF A PROMINENT PRIVATE COLLECTOR
FERNANDO BOTERO (b. 1932)
Seated Woman, 2006

incised 'Botero 4/6' (on the base)
bronze

15 1/2 x 11 1/8 x 8 3/4 in.
39.4 x 28.3 x 22.2 cm

This work is number four from an edition of six.

Footnotes

  • Provenance
    Private Collection (acquired directly from the artist).
    Private Collection, New York.
    James Goodman Gallery, New York.
    Carl Schlossberg Fine Arts, Beverly Hills.
    Collection of Chase Mishkin, New York.
    Acquired from the above by the present owner.


    Inspired by the great masters of art history, from Peter Paul Rubens and Titian, to Giotto and Paolo Uccello, Fernando Botero's style is a modern interpretation of the ever-evolving thread of form and draftsmanship with figures characterized by inflated forms and zaftig rotundity. At the age of 20, Botero left Medellín and traveled to Spain where he was able to view the works of the great European masters, including Diego Velazquez and Francisco José de Goya y Lucientes. Exposure to these artists was fundamental to his stylistic advancement, leading to him joining Madrid's San Fernando School of Fine Arts, followed by San Marco Academy in Florence.

    After moving to New York, he continued to develop his trademark style of bulbous and swollen figures and animals, drawing inspiration from Rubens' full-figured representations of female beauty. Rather than gestures of humor or irony, his magnified proportions of figures can be read as an endearing nod to the pleasure of the tactility of life and beauty explored through the female form, themes also considered by Rubens in his sensual renderings. The time Botero devoted to his artistry and the development of his distinctive oeuvre is clearly present in both Seated Woman, 2006, and Nude in Mirror, 2001.

    In an indirect homage to Diego Velazquez, Botero reverentially borrows from The Toilet of Venus ('The Rokeby Venus'), 1647-51, posing Nude in Mirror similarly facing a looking glass and admiring her reflection. Unlike The Rokeby Venus however, who is blissfully unaware of the anonymous voyeurism of the spectator watching her, Botero's nude locks eyes with the viewer, forcing the gaze upwards to look her at her directly, rather than admiring her form. There is a stark absence of the usual coy flirtation or coquettish indifference seen in a traditional nude at her toilet. Instead of inviting the onlooker to join the sensual experience, Botero's modern nude challenges the observer's gaze. Her pursed red lips and hand frozen in midair suggest she has been suddenly and surreptitiously caught by surprise. A complex figure whose private space has been invaded, her response is not simply one of genial welcome for the pleasure of the viewer.

    Seated Woman adheres to more traditional compositions of the female nude. The figure turns across her shoulder gazing longingly beside her, her faced flushed with inviting surprise. The overall monumentality and corpulent exaggeration of Botero's rotund figures are arguably further pronounced in his sculptures, where each work seemingly calls out to the viewer pleading with them to caress the cold bronze. The undying longing to be touched is an effect that is solely Botero's: his figures crave human interaction and comparison in both size and sensation. According to the artist, "form is an exaltation of nature. Exaltation of volume. Sensual Exaltation."1

    The smooth sensuality and fertile lyricism of the curvaceous form is palpable in Seated Woman. The use of bronze highlights the rich depth and monumentality of the sculpture and heightens the enduring solidity of his work. Botero himself recognized the significance of his sculpture within his canon. "For my entire life, I've felt as if I had something to say in terms of sculpture. It's a very strong desire...pleasure—that of touching the new reality that you create. Certainly, in a painting you give the illusion of truth, but with sculpture, you can touch its reality. . . If I paint a knife in my pictures, it's imaginary, but if I sculpt it, then the sensation of having it in your hand is real— it's an object from your spirit, it's a sensual experience even in its execution. It brings a special joy to touch the material with your hands."2

    1. J. C Lambert, Botero Sculptures, Bogotá, 1998.
    2. F. Botero quoted in E. J. Sullivan, Botero Sculpture, New York, 1986, p. 13.
Contacts
Auction information

This auction is now finished. If you are interested in consigning in future auctions, please contact the specialist department. If you have queries about lots purchased in this auction, please contact customer services.

Buyers' Obligations

ALL BIDDERS MUST AGREE THAT THEY HAVE READ AND UNDERSTOOD BONHAMS' CONDITIONS OF SALE AND AGREE TO BE BOUND BY THEM, AND AGREE TO PAY THE BUYER'S PREMIUM AND ANY OTHER CHARGES MENTIONED IN THE NOTICE TO BIDDERS. THIS AFFECTS THE BIDDERS LEGAL RIGHTS.

If you have any complaints or questions about the Conditions of Sale, please contact your nearest customer services team.

Buyers' Premium and Charges

For all Sales categories excluding Arms & Armor, Coins and Medals, Motor Cars, Motorcycles, Wine & Whisky

27.5% on the first $3,000 of the hammer price;
25% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $3,000 up to and including $400,000;
20% of the hammer price of amounts in excess of $400,000 up to and including $4,000,000;
and 13.9% of the hammer price of any amounts in excess of $4,000,000.

Payment Notices

Payment for purchases may be made in or by (a) cash, (b) cashier's check or money order, (c) personal check with approved credit drawn on a U.S. bank, (d) wire transfer or other immediate bank transfer, or (e) Visa, MasterCard, American Express or Discover credit, charge or debit card. Please note that the amount of cash notes and cash equivalents that can be accepted from a given purchaser may be limited.

Shipping Notices

For information and estimates on domestic and international shipping as well as export licenses please contact Bonhams Shipping Department.