Fernando Botero Death Cause and Obituary, What Happened to Fernando Botero? How did Fernando Botero Die?

Who was Fernando Botero?

Fernando Botero Angulo, born on April 19, 1932, and passed away recently, was a renowned Colombian figurative artist and sculptor hailing from Medellín, Colombia. He left an indelible mark on the world of art with his distinctive style, often referred to as “Boterismo,” characterized by portraying people and figures with large, exaggerated volumes. His art could convey a wide range of messages, from political criticism to humor, depending on the piece’s context and interpretation.

Botero was widely recognized as the most celebrated and quoted artist from Latin America during his lifetime. His artwork found its way into highly visible locations worldwide, such as Park Avenue in New York City and the Champs-Élysées in Paris, making it accessible to a global audience.

He often referred to himself as “the most Colombian of Colombian artists,” reflecting his deep connection to his homeland and culture. Botero’s journey to national prominence began in 1958 when he won the first prize at the Salón de Artistas Colombianos. However, it was after his move to Paris in 1973 that he expanded his artistic repertoire to include sculptures, which brought him international recognition by the 1990s. Here is a Bio of Fernando Botero:-


Fernando Botero




Painter, Sculptor

Date of Birth

19 April 1932

Place of Birth

Medellín, Colombia

Date of Death

15 September 2023

Place of Death

Monte Carlo, Monaco



Marital Status




Fernando Botero’s art is celebrated and collected by major international museums, corporations, and private collectors, testifying to the enduring appeal and significance of his work in the art world. In recognition of his contributions to contemporary sculpture, he received the International Sculpture Center’s Lifetime Achievement in Contemporary Sculpture Award in 2012.

Throughout his career, Botero’s unique style and artistic vision captivated audiences worldwide, leaving a profound and lasting legacy in the world of art. His ability to convey complex ideas through his distinct, larger-than-life figures continues to influence and inspire artists and art enthusiasts alike.

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Fernando Botero Death Cause and Obituary

Fernando Botero, the celebrated Colombian artist known for his distinctive style featuring voluptuous figures and political satire, passed away at the age of 91 on 15 September 2023. His daughter, Lina Botero, confirmed the news of his death and revealed that he succumbed to complications from pneumonia in Monaco. Botero, renowned for his unique portrayal of people and objects with exaggerated and rotund forms, left an indelible mark on the world of Colombian art.

He continued to work diligently in his studio in Monaco until shortly before his passing, demonstrating his unwavering dedication to his craft. Despite his weakened physical condition, he even explored new artistic avenues by experimenting with water paintings when he couldn’t manage oil paintings due to his frailty. Fernando Botero was renowned not only for his artistic talent but also for his extraordinary discipline and work ethic. His family and friends attested to his relentless commitment to his art, as he painted tirelessly every day, from morning until night. He maintained an unwavering focus on his work, often observing complete silence to avoid any distractions.

In the words of his son, Juan Carlos Botero, “Fernando Botero is one of the most disciplined people you can meet. His friends and family affirm that he works every day of every year. For Botero there are no rest dates, no holidays, no weekends.” Even on special occasions like Christmas, his birthday, and New Year’s, he remained dedicated to his passion – painting.

Fernando Botero’s passing marks the end of an era in Colombian art, leaving behind a legacy of iconic works that continue to captivate and provoke thought around the world. His unique style and artistic contributions will be remembered and cherished for generations to come.


Fernando Botero Family

Fernando Botero’s family played a significant role in shaping his early life and ultimately influencing his artistic journey. He was born in Medellín, Colombia, in 1932, to parents David Botero  and Flora Angul. Botero’s father, David Botero, worked as a salesman who traveled by horseback.

Tragically, he passed away when Fernando was just four years old due to a heart attack. This early loss had a profound impact on the young artist’s life, leaving his mother, Flora Angulo, to take on the responsibility of supporting the family. Flora worked as a seamstress, working diligently to provide for her children in the absence of their father.

During his upbringing, an uncle also played a significant role in Fernando Botero’s life. Despite being somewhat isolated from the traditional art world found in museums and cultural institutions, Botero’s artistic sensibilities were shaped by the environment around him. He was particularly influenced by the Baroque style of the colonial churches in Medellín and the vibrant city life of his hometown.

These early experiences within his family and surroundings had a profound impact on Botero’s artistic development. They helped shape his unique style, characterized by his signature “Boterismo” and his ability to capture the essence of figures and objects in a larger-than-life, exaggerated manner. The influence of his family and the cultural milieu of Medellín during his formative years contributed significantly to his artistic perspective and eventual global success as a painter and sculptor.

Fernando Botero Education

Fernando Botero’s education was a journey that encompassed various stages and influences, ultimately contributing to his development as a renowned artist. Botero’s early education began at the Ateneo Antioqueño. This provided him with a foundational education in his hometown, Medellín, Colombia. HeThanked to a scholarship, Botero was able to continue his secondary education at the Jesuit School of Bolívar. This period likely provided him with a more structured and comprehensive education.

In an interesting and unconventional turn, in 1944, Botero’s uncle sent him to a school for matadors for two years. This experience exposed him to a unique aspect of Colombian culture and may have influenced his later artistic works. In 1948, at the age of 16, Botero had his first illustrations published in the Sunday supplement of El Colombiano, a significant newspaper in Medellín. This marked an early foray into the world of art and possibly contributed to his decision to pursue a career in the arts.

Botero used the money he earned from his published illustrations to attend high school at the Liceo de Marinilla de Antioquia. This demonstrates his determination to continue his education despite financial challenges.

Botero’s educational journey was a mix of formal education, unique experiences, and early artistic pursuits. It was during these formative years that he began to hone his artistic skills and develop his distinctive style, which would later become internationally renowned as “Boterismo.” His ability to blend various influences from his education and life experiences contributed significantly to his success as a painter and sculptor.

Fernando Botero Career

Fernando Botero’s career as an artist was marked by a fascinating journey of exploration and artistic development. Here’s an overview of his career milestones:

Early Artistic Beginnings (1948-1951)

Botero’s artistic journey began when he had his first illustrations published in 1948 in the Sunday supplement of El Colombiano, a prominent newspaper in Medellín. These early experiences as a newspaper illustrator helped support his budding interest in art. During this time, he attended high school at the Liceo de Marinilla de Antioquia.

Formative Years in Bogotá and Spain (1951-1953)

Botero moved to Bogotá in 1951, and shortly after, he had his first one-man show at the Galería Leo Matiz. In 1952, he traveled with a group of artists to Barcelona, Spain, where he briefly stayed before moving on to Madrid. In Madrid, he studied at the Academia de San Fernando, which provided him with a more structured artistic education.

Paris and Florence (1953-1954)

Botero’s artistic pursuits led him to Paris, where he spent most of his time studying the masterpieces in the Louvre. He then lived in Florence, Italy, from 1953 to 1954, immersing himself in the works of Renaissance masters. These experiences abroad deeply influenced his artistic style and approach.

International Recognition (1950s-1960s)

Botero’s work began to gain international recognition in the 1950s and 1960s. He had over 50 exhibitions in major cities worldwide, showcasing his unique style characterized by proportionally exaggerated, or “fat,” figures. This distinctive style became his trademark.

Salón de Artistas Colombianos (1958)

In 1958, Botero achieved a significant milestone when he won the ninth edition of the Salón de Artistas Colombianos, further solidifying his reputation as an accomplished artist.

Exploration of Themes (2000s)

In the 2000s, Botero’s career took a poignant turn when he created the Abu Ghraib series, addressing the abuses of prisoners at Abu Ghraib prison during the Iraq War. This series garnered international attention and showcased his commitment to addressing pressing issues through his art. He also returned to earlier themes such as family and maternity in his work during this period.

Legacy and Versatility

Throughout his career, Botero’s work ranged from still lifes and landscapes to situational portraiture. His paintings and sculptures were characterized by their unique proportions and “fat” figures, a style he intuitively adopted and later rationalized. Despite spending most of his time abroad, he considered himself the “most Colombian artist living” due to his distinct artistic identity.

Fernando Botero’s career spanned decades and encompassed various phases of artistic exploration, from his early influences in Colombia to his international acclaim and his dedication to addressing social issues through his art. His work continues to be celebrated and admired by art enthusiasts around the world, making him one of the most iconic Latin American artists of his time.

Fernando Botero Wives

Fernando Botero, the renowned Colombian artist, had three wives over the course of his life, each contributing to different phases of his personal and artistic journey:

Gloria Zea

Gloria Zea was a prominent cultural figure in Colombia. She served as the director of the Museum of Modern Art in Bogota for nearly 46 years and held the position of Minister of Culture of Colombia between 1974 and 1982. Botero and Zea married in 1955, but their marriage ended in divorce in 1960. Following their separation, Botero spent a considerable amount of time living in New York, which marked a significant period of artistic growth and international recognition for him.

Cecilia Zambrano

Botero’s second wife was Cecilia Zambrano, though her profession and the specific details of their relationship remain less publicly disclosed. They married in 1964, but their marriage eventually ended in separation. The reasons behind their separation have not been publicly revealed.

Sophia Vari

In 1978, Botero entered into his third marriage with Sophia Vari. Sophia was also an accomplished artist, practicing both painting and sculpture, and her artistic pursuits aligned closely with Botero’s. They shared their time between Paris and Monte Carlo, residing in both places simultaneously.

Their partnership was not only a personal union but also a creative collaboration, with each supporting and influencing the other’s artistic endeavors. Tragically, Sophia Vari passed away on May 5, 2023, after a prolonged battle with ovarian cancer, marking the end of their shared journey.

Fernando Botero’s marriages reflect the various phases and influences in his life, from his early marriage to Gloria Zea during his formative years in Colombia to his later unions with Cecilia Zambrano and Sophia Vari, both of whom were artists themselves. These relationships not only played a role in his personal life but also contributed to the rich tapestry of his artistic career, as they influenced and inspired his creative expression over the years.

Fernando Botero Children

Fernando Botero, the celebrated Colombian artist, had several children from his marriages. Here’s information about his children:

Fernando Botero Zea

Fernando Botero Zea is the eldest child of Fernando Botero and his first wife, Gloria Zea. He has made a name for himself as a businessman and a liberal politician. Fernando Botero Zea holds dual Colombian and Mexican nationalities and has been actively involved in both countries. He is primarily known for his political career and his role as Minister of National Defense of Colombia. Additionally, he is a significant businessman based in Mexico City, where he has likely been involved in various entrepreneurial endeavors.

Lina Botero

Lina Botero is another child of Fernando Botero and Gloria Zea. Further details about her life and career are not provided in the information provided.

Juan Carlos Botero

Juan Carlos Botero is the third child of Fernando Botero and Gloria Zea. Additional information about his life and career is not provided in the available information.

Pedro Botero Zambrano

Pedro Botero Zambrano was born to Fernando Botero and his second wife, Cecilia Zambrano, in 1974. Tragically, Pedro lost his life in a car accident in 1979. This accident also resulted in injuries to Fernando Botero himself.

The Botero family’s history is marked by both artistic and non-artistic achievements, with members pursuing careers in politics, business, and other fields. While some of the children have chosen to stay out of the public eye, Fernando Botero Zea’s prominent role in Colombian politics and business has brought him recognition on a broader scale.

Fernando Botero Net Worth

Fernando Botero Net Worth is approximately $100 million. Fernando Botero’s primary source of income throughout his life has been derived from his career as an artist. He is renowned for his distinctive style and has created an extensive body of work that includes paintings, sculptures, and drawings. His artworks have been widely exhibited and collected by major international museums, corporations, and private collectors.

Botero’s art has commanded significant prices in the art market, with some of his pieces selling for millions of dollars. He has had numerous exhibitions in major cities around the world, and his works have been highly sought after by art enthusiasts and collectors alike.

Additionally, Botero’s art has been featured in various publications, and he has received prestigious awards and honors for his contributions to the world of art. His unique style, often referred to as “Boterismo,” has made him one of the most recognizable and celebrated artists of his generation.

Fernando Botero  Net Worth   


Fernando Botero 

Net Worth

$100 million


Figurative Artist and Sculptor

Fernando Botero Age

Fernando Botero died at the age of 91. Botero’s distinctive style, often referred to as “Boterismo,” is instantly recognizable and sets him apart in the world of art. His ability to portray figures and objects with exaggerated volumes and proportions has left a lasting mark on the art world. Botero’s art has achieved international acclaim, with exhibitions in major cities around the world and his works being collected by prestigious museums and private collectors. This level of success is inspirational for aspiring artists who dream of making a global impact with their art.

What Happened to Fernando Botero?

Fernando Botero, the celebrated Colombian artist known for his iconic plump figures in art, passed away at the age of 91. Botero’s distinctive style, known for its political satire, made him a prominent figure in the world of art, and his work became a symbol of Colombian art internationally. His legacy continues through his iconic creations, which left an indelible mark on the art world.

How did Fernando Botero Die?

Fernando Botero passed away due to complications of pneumonia. His daughter, Lina Botero, confirmed his passing in an announcement to Colombian media outlets. Botero’s death marks the end of an era for the renowned Colombian artist, whose distinctive style and satirical art left a lasting impact on the art world.

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