Fernando Botero’s 1985 painting “Family Scene” sold for $1.7 million in a Christie’s auction in New York.
“Family Scene” is “inspired by Botero’s fascination with the artistry and sport of [bullfighting]” says the Christie’s website. At a young age Botero’s uncle enrolled him in a bullfighting school in Medellin. His apprenticeship as a matador had a strong effect on Botereo’s artworks. In the early 1980s Botero’s works focused almost exclusively on the subject of bull fighting.
Christie’s describes the painting as shifting “the discourse [of bull fighting] from one centered on the pageantry and mythic struggle inherent in this timeless ritual to a highly emotive narrative that is at once deeply personal and intimate, yet infinitely more universal in its revelation of the depth of familial bonds and the fleeing nature of life.”
The painting was previously owned by the Marlborough Gallery in New York and was estimated to sell for $1 – $1.5 million.