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Untitled (St. George), 1983Sanguine and ink on paper 19 1/2 h x 16 3/4 w in 49.5 h x 42.5 w cm
Untitled (St. George) is a sanguine and ink on paper drawing of the “Saint George and the Dragon” myth. According to legend, the Greek soldier Saint George fatally wounded a plague-baring dragon with a lance moments before he ate the king’s daughter who was his next prey. Botero renders this classical myth, whose iconography has been painted in countless frescos and widespread through history, in his signature rotund ‘Boterismo’ style. The exaggerated depiction of Saint George in armor charging on horseback pays homage to Botero’s European predecessors in a distinct Latin American style. This ink on paper piece is both satirical and graceful, as it enchants and engages the viewer through art historical legends, a theme dating back through time.
Botero’s works on paper have grown in demand over the years. The whimsical bodies in the drawings retain their robust and sensual forms with all the gracefulness of Botero’s paintings, but are smaller and more approachable in his drawings. His mastery of voluptuous fleshy figures has become his trademark style and is immediately recognizable as Botero’s creations around the world.