Buffet, Bernard(French, 1928-1999)
Bernard Buffet was born in Paris where he spent his childhood and went to school. He showed early talent for drawing and was admitted to the Ecole des Beaux-Arts in 1944 at the age of sixteen. He remained in that school for about a year and showed his first painting, a crucifixion, at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans in 1944. By 1947 he was a member of both the Salon des Indépendants as well as the Salon d' Automne, and in the same year he shared the Grand Prix de la Critique with Lorjou, a painter twenty years his senior.
Bernard Buffet was an acclaimed artist by the age of twenty on account of his distinctive style and apparent talent. He worked as a painter, etcher, lithographer, designer, and sculptor and produced religious pieces, landscapes, portraits and still-lifes. Buffet’s work had a consistent somber mood that seemed to represent the atmosphere of the post-war period. His success rose in the 1950’s, and he received an overflow of commissions. Consequently, his work took on a more decorative approach.
He painted large canvases and averaged one show a year, devoting each to a single theme: Paris, the circus, the life of Joan of Arc, Venice — the list is long and varied. He worked tirelessly and without assistance on many paintings simultaneously, always in silent isolation. His popularity and success around the globe have continued. Buffet committed suicide in 1999.

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