Fernando Botero’s Fat Animal Sculptures

Two of Barcelona’s most photographed sculptures bear the unmistakable hallmark of Colombian artist Fernando Botero

According to Wikipedia the artist’s trademark style is called Boterism and depicts people and animals in “exaggerated volume”.

3 children climbing on Botero's cat sculpture in Barcelona's Rambla del Raval
Botero’s Cat

The Cat from the Raval

Known locally as either “El Gato del Raval” or “El Gato de Botero” this over-nourished alley-cat was first sighted in the Parc de la Ciutadella park in 1987. 

It then spent a few years outside the Olympic Stadium on Montjuïc before straying down to Barcelona’s bohemian Raval neighbourhood. 

In 2003 the cat finally settled down in it’s current location on the Rambla del Raval.

Tourist taking photos of Botero's Raval Cat Statue
The cat from the Raval, Barcelona

Botero’s Horse

Located in the arrivals area of Barcelona’s El Prat airport (terminal 2B). Botero’s horse is a popular meeting point for travellers.

The overinflated and slightly bulbous body and legs make the statue pretty imposing and give it what I can only describe as a high degree of “Trojan horsedness”.

3 bored tourists waiting by Botero's black horse statue in Barcelona Airport
Botero’s Horse statue is a popular meeting point in Barcelona airport’s Terminal T2B

About the Artist

Fernando Botero was born in Colombia in 1932. As a boy he trained to be a bull fighter before discovering that his true vocation was art. His first solo exhibition took place Medellín in 1948 after which he moved to Bogota.

In the 1950s Botero relocated to Madrid where he studied at the Academia de Arte de San Fernando before moving to New York where he developed his trademark style. In 1973 he moved to Paris and started creating his now famous fat sculptures.

Close-up photo of the black horse statue in Barcelona airport
“Caballo” by Fernando Botero


Barcelona–El Prat Airport (BCN), 08820 El Prat de Llobregat, Barcelona, Spain

La Rambla del Raval, Barcelona


  1. I do not know what makes a shallow Cretan like me enjoy art — once someone has told me it is art, but I saw the 14 Botero giant bronze fat animal sculptures along Park Avenue in 1993, and they were just plain fun, fun, fun! They make me feel good to be alive. Botero himself donated many pieces of his work to Bogotá, Colombia, which became Museo Botero, a collection of international art.

    1. Hi Clint,

      Thanks for your insight, I knew that there were a lot of Botero’s statues in Medellin but hadn’t heard about the museum in Bogotá.

  2. Thanks for the link! I think there’s something very endearing about these sculptures. Especially the cat one. And the kids love it.

    1. Hi Rob,

      You’re welcome, I enjoy reading your blog. The “BCN days” series is a great idea and has produced some really interesting articles about Barcelona.

      I totally agree with you about Botero’s statues, there’s something about them that makes them very special.

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