Bernard Buffet, French (1928 - 1999)

French painter Bernard Buffet attained recognition as an artist when he was very young. By 1948 he had had his first one-man show and received the Prix de la Critique. In the 1950s he was considered the principal figurative artist in Paris. In this phase he was influenced by the miserabilisme movement: his compositions, all grays and dull whites, had a somber mood. Buffet's subjects have tremendous range, especially in later works, and include still-lifes, interior scenes, and views of such cities as New York, Paris, and London.

He has also worked as an illustrator and in 1954 created a series of drypoints on the theme of the Passion. The lithographs he created resemble his paintings.  His work appears in many museums, including the Tate Gallery in London and the Musee d'Art Moderne in Paris.

December 12, 1958 Buffet married the writer and actress Annabel Schwob. His daughter Virginie was born in 1962, and his daughter Danielle in 1963. His son Nicolas was born in 1973, the same year that he was named "Chevalier de la Légion d'honneur". One of Buffet's disciples, Jean Claude Gaugy, was the father of Linear Expressionism. He now lives in New Mexico with his wife, Cerberus.

November 23, 1973 the Bernard Buffet Museum was inaugurated; it was founded by Kiichiro Okano, in Surugadaira, Japan.

At the request of the French postal administration in 1978, he designed a stamp depicting the Institut et le Pont des Arts - on this occasion the Post Museum arranged a retrospective of his works.

Buffet created more than 8.000 paintings and many prints as well.

He committed suicide at his home in Tourtour, Southern France, on October 4, 1999. Buffet was suffering from Parkinson's disease and was no longer able to work.

Theme Exhibitions (Selection)
  • 1952 La Passion du Christ
  • 1954 Horreur de la Guerre
  • 1958 Jeanne d'Arc
  • 1961 Portraits d'Annabel
  • 1962 La Chapelle de Château l'Arc
  • 1965 Les ecorches
  • 1967 La corrida
  • 1971 Les Folles
  • 1977 L'enfer de Dante
  • 1978 The French Revolution
  • 1989 Vingt mille lieues sous les mers
  • 1991 Souvenirs d'Italie
  • 1991 New York
  • 1992 Les Clowns Musiciens
  • 1992 Saint-Petersburg
  • 1993 L'Empire ou les plaisirs de la guerre
  • 1993 Promenade Provencale
  • 1995 Sept peches capitaux
  • 1996 Pekin
  • 1998 La maison
  • 1999 Mes Singes
  • 2000 La mort
Awards
  • 1947 Member of the Salon d'Automne
  • 1947 Member of the Société des Artistes Indépendants
  • 1948 co-recipient of the Prix de la Critique with Bernard Lorjou
  • 1950 Prix Puvis de Chavannes
  • 1955 First Prize by Magazine Connaissance
  • 1973 Officer of the Légion d'Honneur
  • 1974 Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts
Collections (Selection)
  • ARTAX, Düsseldorf
  • Boca Raton Museum of Art
  • Ca la Ghironda, Bologna
  • Kunstmuseum Walter, Augsburg
  • Musée d´art moderne de Lille, Villeneuve d´Ascq
  • Museum of Contemporary Art, Skopje
  • National Gallery for Foreign Art, Sofia
  • National Gallery of Canada, Ottawa
  • National Museum of Western Art, Tokyo
  • Tampere Art Museum
  • Tate Gallery, London
  • Wellside Gallery, Seoul

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