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Fernando Botero

Botero’s women

A single and limited edition of 2,998 numbered copies, produced by ARTIKA in collaboration with the Colombian maestro Fernando Botero.

Year: 2018



Botero’s art came into being in Montecarlo, in the privacy of one of his studios; a unique and unmistakable style that has made the Colombian maestro into the painter and sculptor of volume par excellence, becoming one of the most highly-valued contemporary artists in the international arts world.

ARTIKA pays homage to this great craftsman of beauty with Botero’s women, an artist’s book created under the supervision and in collaboration with Fernando Botero. A limited edition of 2,798 numbered copies in Arabic numerals and 200 copies in Roman numerals, all signed by the artist.

Botero’s women follows Botero’s artistic career, paying particular attention to one of the artist’s most recurring themes: the female figure. This carefully-produced edition is comprised of three parts: the Art Book, the Study Book and a stunning case-sculpture in which to keep the two volumes.

The case-sculpture has been created specifically to accommodate this unique edition. Made entirely by hand, it is a work of art in itself. In the image on the front (a detail from the work Head, painted by the artist in 2006) a slight emboss effect is visible, in homage to the volume that is so characteristic of Fernando Botero’s paintings and sculptures.

Inside the case-sculpture we find the two volumes of the work: the Art Book and the Study Book, both specially designed so that when placed together, they form the same image of the painting that appears on the case.

The Art Book, the central item of the work, begins with an introduction from the Nobel prize-winner for Literature Mario Vargas Llosa, which was written especially for this edition. In this volume, readers can admire 45 plates featuring drawings selected personally by Fernando Botero. To print the plates, two types of paper have been used, a watercolour paper and a handmade paper that imitates the amate paper the artist uses in some of his works.

In addition, all the plates have been die-cut like the originals.

The drawings feature many different female figures, all of them evocative, sensual and profoundly expressive, with the unmistakable emblem of the master of volume. The sketches are accompanied by extracts taken from short stories Botero published in the 1980s, and which help us to explore the artist’s world in greater depth. Within his colourful tones – yellows, blues and reds – we can distinguish techniques the artist uses, such as watercolour, pencil, sanguine and bistre, pigments that require great skill and dexterity.

On the back of every plate there is the number of the copy and Fernando Botero’s seal. At the end of the Artist’s Book there is the Notarial Certificate, numbered by hand, which certifies the authenticity of all the copies of Botero’s women.

The Study Book, a bilingual Spanish-English edition, explores Botero’s work in depth, helping the reader to comprehend the scope of this world-famous painter. The Professor of Art History Lourdes Cirlot presents some of the most characteristic aspects of the maestro’s work, including a detailed study of the role of the woman in Botero’s work, the importance of drawing for the artist, and his influences. Furthermore, the book includes a chapter devoted to analysing all the drawings in Botero’s women; a detailed study of their composition, technique, themes and symbolism. These texts, which have been specially written for this publication, are accompanied by an exclusive interview between the author and Fernando Botero.

The result is a unique artist’s book that reflects the art of one of the most personal painters in history. After many years of producing art, Fernando Botero carries on opening the doors of his inner world for us with his voluminous figures and his paintings of a critical and social nature. In short, using his characteristic boterismo, this virtuoso of the paintbrush and the chisel still represents a modern classic.

The production process

Two types of paper have been used for printing the drawings: watercolour paper and a handmade paper which reproduces the characteristics of the amate paper used by the artist.

The 45 plates have been stuck into the book using three drops of glue. On the back of each plate there is the plate number and the artist’s seal.

The drawings in this edition are highly faithful to the originals, mainly in the techniques Botero uses such as watercolour and pencil.

The pages of both the Art Book and the Study Book have been bound together using traditional methods, hand-sewn using cotton thread.

Both books have been bound by hand with covers printed on canvas cloth.

The covers of the Art Book are comprised of magnetised book flap closures, which give this volume an immaculate finish. 

Bound at the same time, when they are placed together, the two volumes of Botero’s women form a detail of the image from the painting Head (2006).

The case-sculpture, made from polyurethane (a type of high-density resin) is made using an aluminium mould.

Once the piece has been removed from the mould, the craftsman corrects any possible defects and imperfections by means of grinding and sealing.

The two parts of the case are painted first in white lacquer and then in green, except for the face, thus imitating the colour of the canvas painted by Botero in 2006.

After that, colour is applied to the face using digital printing. Two prints are carried out in order to highlight the colour and add details.

Finally, the signature “Botero” is screenprinted by hand in white ink. In addition, the Notarial Certificate, which is included in the Art Book, is numbered by hand.

Technical specifications

  • Two sections produced using high-density polyurethane, with a relief effect and a glossy, textured green lacquer finish. The case is held shut by neodymium magnets.
  • Front section printed digitally, and using UV drying.
  • Size: 60.7 x 46.8 x 10.5 cm
  • Weight: 7.6 kg
    Art book
  • Cover in Natur & Halflinnen natural fabric, lined over white paperboard 3 mm thick, with side flaps and magnet. Printed in 4 inks with two layers of varnish.
  • Paper inside: Tintoretto Gesso, 200 g; paper for the plates: Fedrigoni 140 g, Freelife Merida White: 34 plates + handmade paper 130 g: 11 plates. Plates printed in 4 inks.
  • A total of 112 pages. + 1 red page
  • Size: 32.4 x 40 cm
  • Weight: 2.41 kg
    Study Book
  • Cover in Natur & Halflinnen natural fabric, lined over white paperboard 2.5 mm thick. Printed in 4 inks with two layers of varnish.
  • Paper inside volume: Tatami White, 150 g (208 pages) and Tatami Ivory, 150 g (80 pages).
  • A total of 288 pages with 45 drawings and 103 images.
  • Size: 20.9 x 40 cm
  • Weight: 2.30 kg