Captured on Canvas

FRANCOIS MORI / AP

Botero was haunted by Abu Ghraib images

Even in a serene, sunlit atelier on Paris' Left Bank, the life-size paintings propped against the wall cast a pall of terror. A hulking dog snarls with bared fangs over a naked man lying bloodied and bound on a concrete floor. Naked, hooded bodies lie entangled in a pile. A blindfolded prisoner stands in women's red underwear. The paintings need no titles. The scenes of abuse by U.S. military prison guards in Abu Ghraib, west of Baghdad, are unmistakable, almost as much as the painter's style itself. The Colombian artist Fernando Botero is, by his own admission, best known as "the...

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