Bernard Buffet



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Bernard Buffet Painter

Bernard Buffet pittore

Bernard Buffet, born in Paris on 10 July 1928, was a renowned French painter, famous exponent of Expressionism and founding member of the group " L'homme Témoin", opposed to abstract art. He began his artistic training with a municipal art course in 1943, and then continued his studies at the prestigious École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts.
Bernard Buffet began his artistic career working in the studio of Eugene Narbonne. His early works include religious, landscape and portrait paintings. After the Second World War, influenced by the climate of anguish and criticism towards Existentialism, he moved away from Abstraction, preferring figurative and essential painting, focused on the difficulty of communication between human beings. His style is characterized by slender figures, distinctive contour lines and subdued colors.
In 1946, Bernard Buffet exhibited for the first time, a self-portrait, at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans in the Galerie Beaux-Arts. This exhibition marks the beginning of his rise in the Parisian artistic environment, exhibiting his works annually and obtaining awards such as the Prix de la Critique in 1948 and the Prix Puvis de Chavannes in 1950. At the same time, he also dedicated himself to the illustration of works literary works, such as "Les Chants de Maldoror" by the Comte de Lautréamont in 1952, and collaborates as a set designer and costume designer for the theatre.
His works range from portraits to still lifes, from city views to rural landscapes, also including sacred and profane scenes. In 1955, the magazine "Connaissance des Arts" named him among the ten best post-war artists. In 1958, the Charpentier Gallery hosted the first retrospective of his work, enjoying great success with the public and critics. Bernard Buffet's personal life is equally interesting. After a relationship with Pierre Bergé, on 12 December 1958 he married the writer and actress Annabel Schwob, with whom he adopted three children: Virginie, Danielle and Nicolas. In 1961, one of his paintings on the life of Christ was donated to the Vatican Museums. In 1973, he received the nomination of Knight of the Legion of Honor and the same year the Bernard Buffet Museum was inaugurated in Japan.
Bernard Buffet did not limit himself to painting: in 1978, he designed a stamp for the French postal administration. His oeuvre is vast and includes over 8,000 works, including paintings and prints. Despite his success, Bernard Buffet had to face criticism, especially in the world of painters.
Bernard Buffet's journey, however, ends tragically. The artist, suffering from Parkinson's disease and unable to continue his work, chose to take his own life on 4 October 1999 in Tourtour, in the south of France. His artistic legacy, however, remains a point of reference in the 20th century art world, testifying to his ability to capture the essence of human existence through his expressionist art.

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