Fernando Llort, the Salvadoran painter who created the artwork and inspiration for our Romero animation, has sadly died at the age of 69.

Llort is known across the globe thanks to his famous Romero Crosses – inspired by Archbishop Oscar Romero who was assassinated for speaking out during El Salvador’s bloody civil war – have been displayed in Cathedrals, homes and parishes around the world.

He resurrected a folk, or naïve art style, that came to represent the beauty and horrors found in the El Salvador. Looking closely at these crosses you may see themes of joy, resurrection, struggle, icons of the poor peasant farmers, hope, dignity and beauty. But these are all painted in the context of the struggles and challenges found in the lives of the Salvadoran poor, who underwent extreme hardship during the civil war in which Oscar Romero was assassinated.

As Clare Dixon, the head of CAFOD’s Latin American team, puts it, “Fernando’s crosses are deeply inspired by Oscar Romero and his messages of justice, unity and reconciliation which Romero hoped for his country. Fernando has been able to carry on Romero’s powerful words through the beauty and colourful art work of his crosses.”

We are sorry to see Fernando’s passing, and we are delighted to have worked so closely with his artwork which we tried to replicate as best we can in the animation The life of Oscar Romero. 

Watch the animation here.