A Curious Finding: Botero’s Painting “Vermeer’s Studio”

I was doing some research on the Internet last month when I came across a very curious painting: Fernando Botero’s Vermeer’s Studio, which is clearly influenced by the Master of Light. Botero is a very well-known Colombian figurative artist who mainly focuses on situational portraiture.

"Dancers", by Fernando Botero

His paintings and sculptures are easily recognizable for their exaggerated proportionality, and the artist explains his use of “fat” people as follows: “An artist is attracted to certain kinds of form without knowing why. You adopt a position intuitively; only later do you attempt to rationalize or even justify it”.

"Vermeer's Studio", by Fernando Botero

In his painting “Vermeer’s Studio”, Botero depicts a chubby woman who looks very similar to the Girl with a Pearl Earring, and who seems to be leaning on a table with some fruits in it. In the background, we can see a painter’s easel with Johannes Vermeer’s famous work Study of a Young Woman. The meaning of the work is not entirely clear, but it seems to me that Botero wants to make the viewer reflect on the different cannons of beauty, as well as to put into question the importance that we give to our appearance. A very funny and original work!