La Mesa del Carnicero (The Butcher Table); Still Life with Pig's Head

Fernando Botero, Colombian, 1932 - 2023

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1969

Oil on canvas

Overall: 71 1/16 × 61 1/8 in. (180.5 × 155.2 cm)

Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth: Gift of Joachim Jean Aberbach

P.975.72

Geography

Place Made: Colombia, South America

Period

20th century

Object Name

Painting

Research Area

Painting

Not on view

Inscriptions

Signed, dated, and inscribed, on reverse: Botero '69 'LA MESA DEL CARNICERO'

Label

Gross in scale and subject matter, Fernando Botero’s painting The Butcher’s Table uses the floor pink in grotesque depiction of animal flesh. The Colombian artist, known for his inflated figures and sculptures, uses numerous shades of pink to depict the quotidian yet shocking scene, while debunking traditions that connect prestige with scale in this huge work. While the style of painting nods to the Old Masters who influenced Botero, there are subtle visual hint of satire, such as the grinning pig. Many view the work within the context of "La Violencia," acts of torture that took place in Botero’s native country during the 1950s. The fleshy pink tones create tension here. The porcine colors are the same as human flesh, forcing the viewer into a confrontation with death.

From the 2019 exhibition A Space for Dialogue 96, The Politics of Pink, curated by Charlotte Grussing '19, Conroy Intern

Course History

SART 25, SART 31, SART 72, Painting I, II, III, Thomas Ferrara, Winter 2012

ITAL 10, The Culture of Food in Italian Literature, 1300-2013, Tania Convertini, Winter 2014

WRIT 5, Poor Taste, William Boyer, Winter 2014

ITAL 10, Introduction to Italian Literature: Masterworks and Great Issues, Tania Convertini, Winter 2015

WRIT 5, On Poor Taste, William Boyer, Winter 2015

GOVT 49.05, Protest and Parties in Latin America, Lisa Baldez, Fall 2019

ITAL 10.06, Culture of Food in Italian Literature, Matteo Gilebbi, Winter 2020

ARTH 63.13, Bad Art!, Katie Hornstein, Winter 2020

ARTH 63.13, Bad Art!, Katie Hornstein, Winter 2020

ITAL 10.06, Culture of Food in Italian Literature, Matteo Gilebbi, Winter 2021

SPAN 20.02, Writing and Reading: A Crtitical and Cultural Approach, Israel Reyes, Winter 2022

Art History 38.04, Food and Art: Global History, Nicola Camerlenghi, Spring 2023

Art History 63.13, Bad Art!, Katie Hornstein, Summer 2023

Art History 38.04, Food & Art: Global History, Nick Camerlenghi, Fall 2023

Exhibition History

A Space for Dialogue 96, The Politics of Pink, Charlotte Grussing,Class of 2019, Conroy Intern, Alvin P. Gutman Gallery, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 28-November 3, 2019.

Acquisitions 1974-1978, Jaffe-Friede, Strauss and Barrows Galleries, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, December 8, 1978-January 21, 1979.

Fernando Botero, Museo d'Arte Moderna, Viale S. Franscini 9, 6900 Lugano, Switzeraland, August 1-October 19, 1997.

Fernando Botero, Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, Rotterdam, The Netherlands, March 27-May 19, 1975, no. 9.

Latin American Still Life: Reflections of Time and Place, Katonah Museum of Art, Katonah, New York, October 17, 1999- January 2, 2000; El Museo del Barrio, New York City, New York, February 10-May 21, 2000.

Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 26,2009-March 15, 2010.

Selections: Contemporary Art, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, December 12, 1975-January 11, 1976.

The Dartmouth Collection: 19th & 20th Century Paintings, Jaffe-Friede Gallery, Hopkins Center Art Galleries, Dartmouth College, Hanover, New Hampshire, September 17-November 6, 1982.

Publication History

Clayton C. Kirking and Edward J. Sullivan, Latin American Still Life: Reflections of Time and Place, Katonah: Katonah Museum of Art, 1999, p. 15, ill. p. 16

Rudy Chiappini, Fernando Botero Catalogue of Exhibition at Museo d'Arte Moderna, Dicastero Attivita Culturali, Switzerland: Skira Milano, July 1997.

Treasures of the Hood Museum, Dartmouth College, New York: Hudson Hill Press, 1985, pp. 151-52, no. 148, ill.

Pascal Imperato, "Bombarding Bananas, Zapping Zucchini," The Sciences (Jan/Feb 1985), ill. p. 19.

German Arciniegas, Fernando Botero, New York: Harry N. Abrams, Inc., 1977, fig. 93.

Klaus Gallwitz, Botero, New York: Rizzoli, 1976, ill. p. 66.

R. Hammacher-van den Brande, Fernando Botero, Rotterdam: Museum Boymans-van Beuningen, 1975, p. 14, no. 9, ill. p. 24.

Stiftung Deutsches Hygiene-Museum, Mensch und Tier: Eine paradoxe Beziehung, Ostfildern, GERMANY: Hatje Cantz Verlag, 2002, 240 pp., ill. p. 69.

Rivero, Mario. Botero. Bogota: Plaza & Janés, 1973, pp. 86-87.

Brian P. Kennedy and Emily Shubert Burke, Modern and Contemporary Art at Dartmouth: Highlights from the Hood Museum of Art, Hanover: Trustees of Dartmouth College, 2009 p.61, no.37.

John R. Stomberg, The Hood Now: Art and Inquiry at Dartmouth, Hanover, New Hampshire: Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019, p. 180, ill. plate no. 111.

Charlotte Grussing,Class of 2019, Conroy Intern, A Space for Dialogue 96, The Politics of Pink, Hanover, New Hampshire, Hood Museum of Art, Dartmouth College, 2019.

Provenance

Joachim Jean Aberbach (1910-1992), Old Westbury, New York; given to present collection, 1975.

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