Bernard Buffet (1928 – 1999)

Bernard Buffet was a French painter of Expressionism and a member of the anti-abstract art group “L’homme Témoin”. Buffet was born on 10 July 1928, in Paris, France. In December 1943, he studied Art at the École Nationale Supérieure des Beaux-Arts (National School of the Fine Arts) where he worked in the studio of the painter Eugène Narbonne. His first painting to be exhibited was in 1946, a self-portrait, at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans at the Galerie Beaux-Arts.

In 1947, he exhibited at the Salon des Independants. Later that year he had his first solo exhibition, at the Art Impressions bookshop in Paris. As well as being popular with art critics in countries including Japan and the US, In France, Buffet’s reputation was as big as Picasso in the 50’s as a serious artist. He painted a series of paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ in 1961 that were intended to decorate the Chapelle de Chateau l’Arc. However, ten years later, at the request of the secretary to Pope Paul VI, these paintings were given to the Vatican Museum. They still remain on permanent exhibition.

In 1999, the artist, disappointed by the art world and struggling with Parkinson’s, ended his life at age 71. Buffet created more than 8,000 paintings and many prints.