Fernando Botero's work is booming after his death

Fernando Botero's work is booming after his death

"Los Músicos" was auctioned for more than 5 million ISD and became the most expensive Botero in history

Two months after the death of the Colombian Fernando Botero (1932-2023), his work began to be valued upwards with sales that exceeded the figures to which the artist was accustomed and that even quintupled, as in the case of Los musicosel which was auctioned for more than $5,000,000 and became the most expensive Botero in history.

He died on September 15 at the age of 91. That same month, the creator of what some called “Boterism” sold four oil paintings in his honor, a movement characterized by voluminous characters that made him recognized throughout the world.

Among the works that sold at high prices, Man Eating and In the Plaza, which reached 800,000 and 1,000,0000 euros, respectively. That same million-dollar figure was achieved About Cézanne, Rosalba and Nude in front of the mirror according to figures cited by the newspaper El Debate.

“Men eating” and “Rosalba” are sold separately for USD 1 million“Men eating” and “Rosalba” are sold separately for USD 1 million

But without a doubt the big star of recent days was “The Musicians,” a 1979 canvas that reflects a group of musicians in a bar or public hall of some kind and which Christie's in New York auctioned on November 11 for $5,132,000.

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“A new album by Maestro Botero,” the artist's son wrote on his social networks, where he shared the video of the sale. “The Musicians” is not only emblematic for its virtuosity but also because it is the cover of Mario Vargas Llosa's latest book, I Dedicate My Silence to You, the work in which the Peruvian Nobel Prize winner says goodbye to fiction literature.

In dialogue with the Colombian media Semana, Fernando Botero Jr. defined that auction as “a historical event” beyond the economic value, because it was “the first time that Christie's removed him from that category of Latin American artist and placed him next to the most famous artists in the world, such as Picasso or Miró. “It is a very important fact,” he highlighted.

The sculpture was sold in the same lot at Christie's. The loro from the early 80s, which came out with an estimated value between $200,000 and $300,000 and finally sold for $1,800,000 million.

But the auctions did not end. Tonight, Morton House will hold an auction of Latin American art that includes a Botero design for the opera's backdrop. Carmen Georges Bizet. The piece will be sold with the dedication to the dancer. Jacques de Amboisea to whom Botero had given him the work.

Sketch of the curtain for 'Carmen', by Fernando Botero (MutualArt)Sketch of the curtain for 'Carmen', by Fernando Botero (MutualArt)

As the prices of his works increase as reflected in recent auctions, so does interest in his production. Italy, the country where he lived his last years, will be the first place to pay tribute to him with an exhibition that opens on November 23 at the Museo della Permanente in Milan. Under the title “Vía Crucis”, the exhibition that was already exhibited in Medellín - Botero's hometown - in 2012, will bring together some 27 oil paintings and 34 drawings around a different and more intimate facet of the Colombian: his relationship with what spiritual.