Located in the heart of the historic centre, the Botero Museum was founded in 2000 after the bequest to the Colombian State of more than 200 major works belonging to the master Fernando Botero (born in Medellín in 1932). Botero donated a large part of his personal collection. Admission is free, it was one of the conditions set by Botero, in order to allow any Colombian to enjoy a Picasso, for example, without having to leave the country. The museum would count about a thousand visitors a day, but you never feel oppressed, the setting being most pleasant in a large colonial building dating from 1724, which was used until 1955 to welcome the archbishops during their visits to Bogota. Botero himself participated in the restoration of the house.
The museum is of reasonable size, on two levels, with a series of rooms with neat illuminations highlighting the works, and two charming patios to rest in peace. A visit easily lasts 2-3 hours if you want to appreciate all the works presented: 123 creations by the famous Colombian artist, between paintings, drawings and sculptures, but also 85 original works by internationally renowned artists, offering an interesting insight into the evolution of painting since the 19th century, from the Gypsy tambourine of Camille Corot, prior to 1862, to the oil of Miquel Barceló dating from 1988. This international collection would be one of the five most important in Latin America. It includes works by Monet, Matisse, Toulouse-Lautrec, Dalí, Picasso, Miró, Klimt, Ernst, Chagall, Giacometti, Beckmann, Léger and Renoir, to name but the most famous!
The works of Botero presented here date back to the last decades of the 20th century. "The most Colombian of Colombian artists" as he has ironically nicknamed himself, has a style of his own, especially with his characters with their round and voluptuous shapes. A style that appears in his paintings, drawings and sculptures, and that allows him not to be associated with any movement or current, past or present. His work is inspired by pre-Columbian art and Colombian folk culture, with many scenes taking place in Medellín, his home town.
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