Fernando Vicente Explores Human Vulnerability in Beautiful Anatomical Paintings

Fernando Vicente is a Spanish painter and illustrator, based in Madrid. In his early career, he created cartoons and illustrations for Spanish magazines including Madrid magazine, Le Luna  de Madrid, Cosmopolitan and Playboy. He has also illustrated a number of books including Peter Pan, Momo and The Strange Case of Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde.

In his fine art series known as  ‘Vanitas‘, Vicente explores both human vanity and the  vulnerability that lies beneath it. The portraits, which are painted in acrylic paint, are a juxtaposition of glamorous fashion portraiture and detailed anatomical drawings, intended to convey the futility of materialism compared with the certainty of death. The works also offer a contemplation on shared human experience, using the representation of internal anatomy to demonstrate the commonality between all human beings, despite differing external appearances.

“The human body without subterfuge, outside and
inside, its fragility, is the mirror to look in that we realize how
fragile we are, and what we think. We all have the same viscera,
arteries and muscles.”

– Fernando Vicente

Vicente has held a life-long fascination with human anatomy, his unique representation of which can also be seen in his series ‘Venus’, a series of provocative and sensual portraits of women inspired by Botticelli’s famous Venus, the goddess of love. Unlike Boticelli however, Vincente’s portraits push the boundaries of conventional sensuality and intimacy, with his subjects tauntingly revealing parts of their most inner anatomy. Interestingly, the artistic style in ‘Venus’ differs significantly from that of ‘Vanitas’, with the former utilising a more illustrative style that one could expect to find in the pages of a favourite childhood story book, were it not for the graphic representations of anatomy and sexualised postures of the some of the subjects. The result is a a series of portraits that are  both nostalgic and disconcerting.


In an entirely different approach to the artistic representation of anatomy, Vicente   explores the concept of the human body as a robotic machine in ‘Anatomias‘ , a series of portraits painted onto mechanical posters and instruction manuals.


The collection of his works can be found here. 


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