Several of Botero's tabletop still lifes display a solemnity, tranquility, and a deliberate separation of the few objects represented that inevitably suggest connections between his concept of still-life presentation and that developed during the seventeenth century in Spain. It was at that time, during the golden age of Spanish painting, that artists just as Juan Sánchez Cotán, Juan van der Hamen, and Francisco de Zurbarán did still-life paintings of a few objects generally placed well apart from one another. Dramatic lighting plays an important role in these images, but it is their simplicity and economy of elements that are often most pronounced. Three still lifes created by Botero in 1981 are examples of his use of a few carefully chosen elements placed horizontally, almost sacramentally, on a table. Of particular interest is the Still Life with Jug and Bottle, in which we see the jug, the bottle, and spherical form splayed out across the surface of a table, which itself part of the sculptural mass. Seen from the front, this sculpture possesses the wide shapes of any Boteresque form. Seen from the side, however, it assumes very slight, even thin, proportions. "Just to experiment, I have made several sculptures whose proportions are typically wide from the front but very narrow at the side," Botero has said of this piece.
E.J. Sullivan, Botero Sculpture, Abbeville Press, New York, p. 144.