ART: Botero and Picasso: An Imaginary Dialogue


Based on the exposition “Botero: A Dialogue With Picasso,” Cecilia Braschi considers the relationship between Fernando Botero and Pablo Picasso, despite the two never having met.

“My dream, like that of all young artists, was to move to Paris and be like Picasso.” Thus, Botero began his fascination as a young man with this brilliant, versatile figure who had been upsetting the canon of modern painting since the beginning of the 20th century. Botero discovered the European avant-garde at the age of 15, in Argentine Julio E. Payró’s Pintura Moderna (1944), the incontrovertible reference for an entire generation of Latin American artists who sought to rethink painting outside of the traditional and regional schools. Picasso appeared as a global “phenomenon,” who Botero admired, primarily, for his “non-conformism.” In an enthusiastic and vehement text that resulted in his expulsion from a Jesuit school in 1948, the young Botero paid homage to a Picasso who “struggles, debates, attacks his former mentors,” but whose “eloquence is found more in his work than his impassioned word.” 

Cecilia Braschi
Anais Moutarlier
Publication date: 
August 16, 2017
Publication type: 
Berkeley Review of Latin American Studies Article