Botero in Palermo

El beso de Judas: Courtesy of Museo de Antioquia

It was back in 1988 when Palermo hosted the first exhibition of Fernando Botero, entitled ‘Corrida’. Now, after 27 years, the work of this famous Colombian painter is back in town again. This time the theme is ‘Via Crucis’.

After visiting cities like New York, Panama, and Lisbon, the exhibition is making its only Italian stop in Palermo. The exhibition runs until 21st June, making it a great opportunity for all art lovers and tourists on vacation in Sicily in the next couple of months.

The series of 27 oil paintings and 34 drawings lent by the Museo de Antioquia Medellin, the native city of the artist, represents The Passion of The Christ.

The inauguration of the exhibition coincides with the period of the Holy Week and the subsequent Easter celebrations, which in Sicily are particularly theatrical and pompous. It makes for a perfect match with Botero’s exaggerated and extravagant style.

The unique and unmistakable XXL style, static compositions, and limited palette of rather strong and consistent colours have made of Botero one of the most famous and recognisable contemporary artists working today.

Botero is a great admirer and connoisseur of the Old Masters and, in particular, the Italian painters of the Renaissance. His mastery of classic oil techniques is impressive. His works are full of references to art history. But his technically perfect and well-organized compositions are at the same time very emotive – which is what makes them works of art and not just examples of outstanding craftsmanship.

The ‘Via Crucis’ exhibition now showing in Palermo is an excellent sample of Botero’s oeuvre: applying his outstanding technical skills, a theme loved by the Old Masters – but rather forgotten since – has been given a thoroughly modern, human, and very emotive dimension. Make sure you don’t miss it.

Fernando Botero’s ‘Via Crucis: las pasion de Cristo’ is showing at the Royal Palace, Palermo, 21st March to 21st June 2015



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