Signed "Botero 10" (lower right corner)
Fernando Botero has confirmed the authenticity of this work
Public notes Family is one of the most prominent themes in the oeuvre of Botero, as it comes to stand for the artist as the most Latin American theme in painting par excellence. Botero takes interests in family portrait for its complex composition. To him, the difficulty lies in the pulling in of all the diverse elements into the composition to share in an internal rhythm, and to achieve a harmonization where the forms and colours blend. This calls for a certain maturity and knowledge in order to strike a proper balance in composition. As with other works of the artist, the present work consists of an underlying commentary on the relationship between men and women. While in the Latin American culture the male plays the role of the macho, whereas the female is utterly feminine, either enjoying admiration or suffering from indifference, in certain of Botero’s works, as in the present one, the roles are reversed. The woman dominates the central position of the portrait in a standing position, with her nudity rendering her a sense of assumed presence and power, while the man is in a formal suit, sitting on a chair, carrying the child, taking up the role which is normally assumed by the mother. One cannot help but notice the ethnic difference between the parents and the children. The malicious visage of the cat on the top the cupboard, overlooking the family scene, appears as if it is passing judgment on the situation. The internal coherence of the painting is achieved by the resonance of objects in fuchsia colour, manifested in the slip that hangs out of the drawer, the cocktail drink in the picture, the earrings, the cherries and the edge of the scarf, the tie, the ball in the boy’s hand, the girl’s skirt, and the blush on the servant’s cheek.