Botero, Boldini, Fire Artist at Rome Complesso del Vittoriano

Botero Horse Sculpting
Complesso del Vittoriano

Museums and exhibition halls in Rome’s Complesso del Vittoriano – the “Altar of the Italian Nation” – are known for hosting great art. A “symbolic monument,” the complex “celebrates Vittorio Emanuele II of Savoy, the first King of a unified Italy”. Two showings are now running:

  • Fernando Botero
  • Giovanni Boldini
Botero Still Life
Fernando Botero
Colombian Artist Fernando Botero

Botero’s show celebrates the Colombian artist’s 85th birthday and exhibits art from 60 years of his career – 1958 to 2016. His style, known as “Boterismo, depicts people and figures in large, exaggerated volume, which represents political criticism or humor, depending on the piece”.


“Botero’s paintings transport the viewer into a fantastical, dreamlike dimension pervaded by nostalgia and echoes of a world that no longer exists or is fast disappearing”.



Botero’s work was displayed in categories – sculpting, still life, political and religious, nudes, and memories of Latin America. It was simply incredible seeing his creations so close! I spent several hours viewing his big, bold, beautiful paintings and sculpting. He lived much of his life in Paris, but Colombia and Latin America had a profound effect on his art. He was “attracted to the work of Spanish painters Francisco de Goya and Diego Velázquez“.

Portrait Lina Cavalieri – Giovanni Boldini
Giovanni Boldini
Italo-French Artist Giovanni Boldini

The Boldini show reconstructs “step by step the outstanding career of the artist”. He “superbly conveyed and exalted female beauty – revealing the innermost mysterious soul of the ladies of the period, whom he regarded as fragile icons”. The exhibit includes representative Boldini oils and pastels, drawings and engravings, and a few works by his contemporaries, a group of Macchiaioli artists.


“Giovanni Boldini, the protagonist of the Belle Époque, was an extraordinary painter who immortalized in his portraits the most beautiful women of Parisian high society.“


Giovanni Boldini Portrait Mrs. Howard Johnston
Lady with Horse Boldini

Boldini’s elegant work is amazing – but viewing his small, delicate brush strokes was a major transition after Botero’s much larger images. Boldini lived to be 89, but in his later years, he gave up painting because of a loss of vision.

Giovanni Boldini The Return of The Fishing Boats
I Say – The Fire Artist

Rome’s Fire Artist I Say

The alcove featured “Combustion,” a retrospective pop-art exhibition by Rome’s Fire Artist, I Say. I Say’s work is popular in the US and Rome and is showing at Dicò Art Gallery.

I Say divides his work into three categories – Burning, Celebrity, and Urban. His creations are “in private collections of leaders – both Italian and international – from the world of culture, entertainment, finance, and sport”.

I thoroughly enjoyed all three exhibits, but admit Botero was my favorite. It was a privilege seeing his work in person!

Rome Complesso del Vittoriano –

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