The internationally recognised Colombian artist Fernando Botero escaped unscathed, when a fire ripped through his holiday home, located in the northwest of the country on Monday. The fire injured the caretaker of the residence when he was hit by a falling beam on the property. Firefighters prevented the flames from spreading to Botero’s studio which is also situated on the estate. It is thought that 50% of the main house was destroyed by the blaze. The artist also has homes in Monaco, New York and Italy but regularly spends time in the place of his birth, Colombia.
“We received a call at 11.45pm, three engines attended the fire. The painter and his friends are fine,” fire official Elson Zuluaga from Rionegro in Antioquia province told a reporter. Botero, 81, was with his wife Sofia Vari and a number of friends when the incident happened
Born in 1932 in Medellin, Colombia, Botero became interested in painting at an early age. His artistic precocity was evident in an illustrated article he contributed to the Medellin newspaper El Colombiano when he was seventeen. Titled Picasso and the Nonconformity of Art it revealed his avant-garde thinking about modern art. Botero moved to Bogotá in 1951 and held his first one-man exhibition there at the Leo Matiz Gallery. The following year, at the age of twenty, he was awarded a Second Prize at the National Salon in Bogota. He regularly exhibits globally and is considered one of the most prominent figurative artists of his generation.
Photo: © Artlyst 2014