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THE BAROQUE WORLD OF FERNANDO BOTERO

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  1. THE BAROQUE WORLD OF FERNANDO BOTERO STUDY GUIDE FOR TEACHERS GRADES 7 AND UP Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009 Sunflowers, 1977

  2. TABLE OF CONTENTS • Exhibition Summary • California Content Standards • Classroom Activities • Pre-Visit Activity • Post-Visit Activity • Additional Resources for Teachers • Further Historical and Background Information • Themes, Terms and Types: Information for Teachers • Types of Art • Terms/Vocabulary • Themes Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  3. EXHIBITION SUMMARY Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009 Columbian artist Fernando Botero’s unique style is recognized and renowned world-wide for the voluminous forms and sensuous figures found within his painting, sculpture and works on paper. Botero’s observations and portrayals often take on religion, politics, and history as subjects with an equally critical and comical approach. The Baroque World of Fernando Botero includes over 100 paintings, sculptures and drawings dating from the 1950s to the present. Compiled from Botero’s personal collection, this is an opportunity to view many works never exhibited that the artist re-acquired or never parted with. The collection is divided into eight separate sections. Sections include the some of the following: works identified thematically as referencing contemporary life in Latin America, early works, sculpture, still-lifes, portraits, and pieces that reference European art history. Using a broad range of media, the Colombian-born Botero has created a world of his own, one that is at once accessible and enigmatic.

  4. CALIFORNIA CONTENT STANDARDS Visual Arts Aesthetic Perception Creative Expression Historical and Cultural Context Aesthetic Valuing Connections, Relationships, Applications History/Social Science English/Language Arts Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  5. CLASSROOM ACTIVITIES Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  6. PRE-VISIT CLASS ACTIVITY VISUAL IMAGERY: ITEMS TO THINK ABOUT WHEN LOOKING AT ART Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  7. Using the terms line, composition, color, texture, and perspective, discuss the following three paintings from the exhibit. Being able to identify these elements before your visit will help you get more out of your experience. Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  8. BOTERO IMAGES FOR ACTIVITY The Earthquake, 2000 Oil on canvas Pear, 1976 Oil on canvas The First Lady, 1989 Oil on canvas Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  9. PERSPECTIVE & SPACE • Is the picture two-dimensional? • Does it look flat like paper? • Is the picture three-dimensional? • Does it look realistic like we can touch it? • Is there a vanishing point? • Where are we seeing the image from? From the ground or high in the air? From an angle or straight on? Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  10. LINES • A line defines a trip through space. Lines are perhaps the most important component of a painting because they can help delineate shapes, which we will learn about next. • Lines help to define the subject of the painting. • A line does not have to be unbroken—things like birds and clouds and rain can also be considered lines in art. • VERTICAL lines show action, strength and authority. HORIZONTAL lines show rest or peace. DIAGONAL lines show action and drama. • What is the purpose of the lines in the painting? Are there some that help move our eyes to a specific part of the work? Keeping in mind what we learned about horizontal, vertical and diagonal lines, what could thick or thin lines show? Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  11. COLOR • The response to color is highly personal because we each react individually and emotionally to color. • Colors can be bright or dull, light or dark. Colors can also be cool or warm. • Some colors make us happy, like yellow, pink or orange. Some make us sad, like blue or purple. What color make you happy, sad, scared, angry, etc.? • Look at the picture. Do the colors imitate reality? If not, why? What do you think the artist is trying to tell us? • Are the colors in the painting in harmony to each other? Are they dramatically opposite? What kind of mood does this create? Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  12. TEXTURE • Texture is how something feels. • It is easy to feel texture with our fingers, but our eyes can “feel” texture too! Our eyes can tell the difference between a soft blanket and the hard floor, even in a work of art. • Look for texture in the painting. How does the artist create a feeling of rough or smooth, hard or soft, the feel of wood, glass, textiles, etc.? Name some of the textures you see in this painting. Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  13. COMPOSTION How is the work arranged? Horizontal? Vertical? Are objects neatly arranged or scattered all over the place? Is it symmetrical, balanced and quiet, or asymmetrical and dramatic? Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  14. POST-VISIT CLASS ACTIVITY Choose one of the paintings you saw in the exhibit. Write a story based on the work. What do you think this painting is about? What do you think is happening? What was the artist thinking when he painted this piece? Share with the class. (20 minutes). Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  15. ADDITIONAL RESOURCES • Bowers Museum Press Release for “The Baroque World of Fernando Botero” • http://www.bowers.org/Admin/upload/press_items_file_1249043476.pdf • Biography • http://www.fernandobotero.com/biography.shtml Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  16. Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009 THEMES, TERMS AND TYPES: INFORMATION FOR TEACHERS

  17. THEMES • Faith and religion • Evoking artistic tradition through religion, for example depicted episodes from the life of Jesus Christ • Contemporary manifestations of faith • Contemporary life • In Latin America • Pomposity and misery of life for the general population • Pretentious affectation of presidents and first ladies (satire) • Glitter and glory of the corrida • Humans engaging in the realities of life: the coexisting violence and beauty • Transience of human existence in still lifes • Use of personal style • Voluminous figures and corpulent bodies—his style is unchanging regardless of subject matter Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  18. TERMS/VOCABULARY • Corrida:bullfight (Spanish) • Trompe-l’oeil:an art technique involving extremely realistic imagery in order to create the optical illusion that the depicted objects appear in three-dimensions. (French) • Vanitas-still life: A still life that contains a warning against the vanity of riches and the transience of earthly goods. These paintings often have multiple layers of meaning depicted within a selection of seemingly innocuous objects. • Memento Mori: Term meaning “remember you will die” (Latin). A work of art that reminds the viewer of their own mortality. • Vanishing point: a point in perspective drawing in which parallel lines of a an object appear to converge. Using vanishing points in art can make a scene seem more three-dimensional and realistic. • Baroque: The word baroque comes from the Spanish ‘barruco’, a term indicating the irregular shape of a pearl. A baroque pearl was one that was irregular, bizarre, or unequal. Art that is baroque does not observe rules of proportion, and where everything is represented according the artist’s whim. A baroque artist is one who is willing to break the classical rules of art. • Deformation: the visual language Botero used in his paintings. In science, the term is used when force is applied to an object, thus changing its shape or its dimensions. In Botero’s case, deformation is similarly applicable, referring to the exaggerated shape and dimensions of his subjects. Bowers Museum Education Department November 2009

  19. TYPES OF ART • When you look at a work of art, try to figure out which of the following it is. • PORTRAIT: A portrait is a picture of a person. People have always been a favorite subject of painters. A portrait is not simply a likeness of a person, as it can also express the artist’s special observations about a subject. • STILL-LIFE: A still-life is a painting of inanimate objects (like fruit, flowers, kitchen utensils). The artist depicts the color, shape, and surroundings of the objects often as a way to show off his or her skill as a painter. Sometimes still-lifes are very realistic, and look three-dimensional. This is called trompe-l’oeil, which is French, and means to “fool the eye”. • LANDSCAPE: Landscape paintings focus primarily on nature as the subject matter. Landscape artists try to capture as many moods and facets of nature as possible. • GENRE PAINTING: Genre art is the painting of ordinary, everyday subject matter that is easily recognizable by the viewer. They show scenes from daily life and usually tell a story. • SCULPTURE: A three dimensional work of art. Often made out of bronze or marble.