Terror on Canvas

Colombia's Fernando Botero paints scenes of the Abu Ghraib prison abuse

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 tangled in a pile. A blindfolded prisoner stands in red women's underwear. The scenes of abuse by U.S. military prison guards in Abu Ghraib, near Baghdad, are unmistakable, almost as much as the painter's style. The Colombian artist Fernando Botero is, by his own admission, best known as "the painter of fat people," and his American...