Bernard Buffet

Bernard Buffet (French: [byfɛ]; 10 July 1928 – 4 October 1999) was a French painter of Expressionism and a member of the anti-abstract art group L'homme Témoin (the Witness-Man).[1]

Bernard Buffet
Bernard Buffet crop
Bernard Buffet in front of his studio in Tourtour
Bernard Buffet

10 July 1928
Paris, France
Died4 October 1999 (aged 71)
Tourtour, France
EducationÉcole Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts
Known forPainting, Drawing, Printmaking
AwardsMember of the Salon d'Automne, 1947

Member of the Société des Artistes Indépendants, 1947
Prix de la Critique, 1948
Prix Puvis de Chavannes, 1950
Officer of the Légion d'Honneur,1973

Member of the Académie des Beaux-Arts, 1974

Life and work

Buffet was born in Paris, France, and studied art there at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National School of the Fine Arts) and worked in the studio of the painter Eugène Narbonne. Among his classmates were Maurice Boitel and Louis Vuillermoz.

Sustained by the picture-dealer Maurice Garnier, Buffet produced religious pieces, landscapes, portraits and still-lifes. In 1946, he had his first painting shown, a self-portrait, at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans at the Galerie Beaux-Arts. He had at least one major exhibition every year. Buffet illustrated "Les Chants de Maldoror" written by Comte de Lautréamont in 1952. In 1955, he was awarded the first prize by the magazine Connaissance des Arts, which named the ten best post-war artists. In 1958, at the age of 30, the first retrospective of his work was held at the Galerie Charpentier.

Pierre Bergé was Buffet's live-in lover until Bergé[2] left Buffet for Yves Saint Laurent.

On 12 December 1958, Buffet married the writer and actress Annabel Schwob. They adopted three children.[3] Daughter Virginie was born in 1962, daughter Danielle in 1963 and son Nicolas was born in 1973. Bernard Buffet was named "Chevalier de la Légion d'Honneur" in 1973.

On 23 November 1973, the Bernard Buffet Museum 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.[4]

Buffet created more than 8,000 paintings and many prints as well.

Buffet committed suicide[5] at his home in Tourtour, southern France, on 4 October 1999. He was suffering from Parkinson's disease and was no longer able to work. Police said that Buffet died around 4 p.m after putting his head in a plastic bag attached around his neck with tape.

The popularity of Buffet's work, as well as the level of media attention around his lifestyle, were quite high in the 1950s and 1960s. Although he kept on painting throughout his life, there was a certain decline in interest with is work in the later decades of the 20th century. Especially so in his native country. This decline in popularity was partly influenced by his fall from grace with French art pundits, whose support and interest shifted away from figurative art.

In the 21st century there has been a renewed spike in interest in the work of Bernard Buffet. With some successful exhibitions in France and throughout the world. In 2016, British author Nicholas Foulkes published Bernard Buffet: The Invention of the Modern Mega-Artist'', in which he offers a controversial biographical account of Buffet's life and work.

In recent years, his children, as well as grandchildren, UK resident Timothé (b. 1995), Taïmour (b. 2000), Manon and Manolo, have been actively working towards promoting the work of Bernard Buffet.

Theme exhibitions (selection)

Femme avec un chapeau rose by Bernard Buffet 1986 Yugoslavia stamp
Femme avec un chapeau rose, by Buffet, 1967, shown on a 1986 Yugoslavian stamp
  • 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


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
  • Alexandre de Bothuri collection, Palm Beach, USA " Le Clown Jaune" 1955

Cultural references



  1. ^ "DuMont's Künstlerlexikon", DuMont Buchverlag Köln, Cologne, 1997
  2. ^ Bernard Buffet: Return of the 'poser' – Features – Art. The Independent (16 March 2009). Retrieved on 26 July 2014.
  3. ^
  4. ^ MMK Museum für Moderne Kunst, Frankfurt am Main, "Bernard Buffet Maler Painter Peintre", Brochure, 2008, April
  5. ^ "Bernard Buffet: Return of the 'poser'". The Independent. 16 March 2009. Retrieved 28 August 2009.

External links

1928 in France

Events from the year 1928 in France.

1928 in art

The year 1928 in art involved some significant events and new works.

1958 Cannes Film Festival

The 11th Cannes Film Festival was held from 2 to 18 May 1958. The Palme d'Or went to the Letyat zhuravli by Mikhail Kalatozov.

1999 in France

Events from the year 1999 in France.

1999 in art

The year 1999 in art involves various significant events.

Bernard Lorjou

Bernard Lorjou (September 9, 1908 – January 26, 1986) was a French painter of Expressionism and a founding member of the anti-abstract art Group "L'homme Témoin".

Buffet (surname)

Buffet is a surname of French origin. People with the surname include:

The Buffet family of musical instrument makers

Bernard Buffet (1928–1999), a French painter

Louis Buffet (1818–1898), a 19th-century French statesman

Marie-George Buffet (born 1949), a French politician

Warren Buffett (born 1930), an American business magnate and philanthropist, described as the most successful investor in the world

Yannick Buffet (born 1979), a French ski mountaineer

Collection of Modern Religious Art, Vatican Museums

The Collection of Modern Religious Art of the Vatican Museums (Musei Vaticani, Collezione Arte Religiosa Moderna) is a collection of paintings, graphic art and sculptures. It occupies 55 rooms: the Apartment of Alexander VI (in the first floor of the Apostolic Palace), the two floors of the Salette Borgia, a series of rooms below the Sistine Chapel, and a series of rooms on the ground floor.

Galleries Maurice Sternberg

Galleries Maurice Sternberg is Chicago's oldest continually operating art gallery, founded in 1945.The gallery was founded by Maurice Sternberg and Judith Sternberg in the arcade of the Drake Hotel. In its early days, the gallery became known for exhibiting the work American and European artists including Antoine Blanchard, Edouard Cortes and Alexander Calder.

Maurice Sternberg died in 1994 and the gallery passed to his wife, Judith who directed the gallery until 1999. The gallery was sold to Harvey Pool and Susan Pool, former Los Angeles marketing executives. Under the gallery's new directors, the location was moved from its original location in the Drake Hotel to the John Hancock Center. In the 21st Century, the gallery has represented works by and mounted exhibitions for many leading American and European artists contemporary artists including, Niels Strøbek and Ian Hornak. The gallery has continued to represent artwork by many of the artists that were originally sold through the company and has introduced additional historic artists to its stable including Karel Appel, Oscar Bluemner, Bernard Buffet, Charles Burchfield, Sam Francis, Robert Indiana, Joan Miró, Henry Moore, Claes Oldenburg and Andy Warhol, among others.

In 2011, the gallery relocated to 3000 North Sheridan Road in Chicago.

Gaëtan de Rosnay

Gaëtan de Rosnay (17 May 1912 -19 October 1992) was a French painter born in Mauritius, He belonged to the art movement called "La Jeune Peinture" ("young picture") of the School of Paris, with painters like Bernard Buffet, Yves Brayer, Louis Vuillermoz, Pierre-Henry, Daniel du Janerand, Maurice Boitel, Gaston Sébire, Paul Collomb, Jean Monneret, Maurice Verdier.

From his Russian spouse Natalia, née Koltchine, he was the father of Louise-Marie-Zina, Joël (biologist and writer), Arnaud-Louis (1946–1984).

Henry Périer

Henry Périer is a French art critic, PhD in art history and independent curator.He is the biograph of Pierre Restany, the French art critic, founder of the movement New Realism (Arman, César, Raymond Hains, Yves Klein, Niki de Saint-Phalle, Jacques Villeglé, etc.)Curator of the year of China in France 2004, he organized an exhibition including 39 Chinese contemporary artists such as Zhang Xiaogang, Wang Guangyi, Yue Minjun, Fang Lijun, Yang Shaobin at the Museum of Contemporary Art of Marseille. Scientific advisor of the retrospective Zeng Fanzhi at the Musée d'Art moderne de la ville de Paris (October 2013 - February 2014).

Jean-David Malat

Jean-David Malat (born in Paris, France in 1975) is a London-based art dealer and curator and founder of the JD Malat Gallery located at 30 Davies Street, Mayfair, W1K 4NB.

Jeffrey Scott Holland

Jeffrey Scott Holland, (born May 13, 1966), is an artist, writer and musician living both in New York City and in Louisville, Kentucky. He is an active member of the Stuckist and Remodernist art movements, holding a traveling exhibit of Stuckist art in the United States in 2001, and co-curating the Deatrick Gallery, the first Remodernist art gallery worldwide.

Holland cites painters Bernard Buffet and Georges Rouault as influences, and works in a primitive impasto style similar to that of fellow Stuckist, Billy Childish.

In addition to painting, Holland also works in photography, sculpture, graffiti and mixed media.

Lefevre Gallery

The Lefevre Gallery (or The Lefevre Galleries) was an art gallery in London, England, operated by Alex. Reid & Lefevre Ltd.The gallery was opened at 1a, King Street, St James's, in 1926, when rival art dealers Alexander Reid and Ernest Lefevre joined forces.Upon Reid's death in 1928, his son, A J McNeill Reid succeeded him. Lefevre resigned in 1931.In 1950, the gallery relocated to premises at 30, Bruton Street, Mayfair.Among artists whose first British solo exhibitions were hosted by the gallery were Salvador Dali, Edgar Degas, Andre Derain, L S Lowry, Amedeo Modigliani, Henri Rousseau, and Georges Seurat, It also held the first London exhibitions for Bernard Buffet, Balthus and Rene Magritte. Others who exhibited there included Francis Bacon, Lucian Freud, Walter Sickert, Wyndham Lewis and the East London Group.

The gallery closed in 2002, citing competition from auction houses, changes in tax on works imported from outside the European Union, and the introduction of droit de suite (royalties paid to artists when their work is sold). The name lives on as 'Lefevre Fine Art' founded the same year.

Maurice Boitel

Maurice Boitel (July 31, 1919 – August 11, 2007) was a French painter.

Michel de Gallard

Michel de Gallard (22 April 1922 – July 2007) was a French painter.

He is considered a member of the School of Paris and La Ruche and is associated with French artists Bernard Buffet and Bernard Lorjou with whom he founded the Anti-Abstract Art Group "L'homme Témoin".

Pierre Bergé

Pierre Bergé (French: [pjɛːʁ bɛʁʒe]; 14 November 1930 – 8 September 2017) was a French award-winning industrialist and patron. He co-founded the fashion label Yves Saint Laurent, and was a longtime business partner (and onetime life partner) of the eponymous designer.

Stéphane Laurent

Stéphane Laurent is a French historian born in Rueil-Malmaison, near Paris, France, in 1966. He is professor of art history at the Université Paris-1 Panthéon-Sorbonne since 1999, where he directs the specialty in Art and Industry (design, fashion and decorative arts). He also taught at the University of Paris IV-Sorbonne, at the University of Berkeley and in universities of the Middle East.

Étienne Périer (director)

Étienne Périer (born 11 December 1931) is a Belgian film director.

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