Bernard Buffet is described as one of the greatest modern French painters of the 20th century. An expressionist artist, he mastered various arts: sculpture, painting, design, theatre, opera and ballet stage design. Buffet was interested in painting from an early age and in 1946 he exhibited his self-portrait at the Beaux-Arts Gallery and quickly made a name for himself.
The artistic works of Bernard Buffet
Bernard Buffet’s favourite themes were landscapes, still lives, animals and nudes. He collected a series of clown faces which became his trademark. This series of oil paintings has a high degree of transparency, which has made the artist famous all over the world.
Bernard Buffet’s sad clown painting made him very famous. Grey face, his forehead wrinkled, his hair straight or thinned out, his hands clenched and all the faces of the crucified clown… Bernard Buffet’s clown portrait symbolises the harlequin and evokes the continuous change of people between darkness and light, joy and sorrow.
Buffet’s value peaked in the late 1980s, when some of his paintings were sold for over 5 million French francs. If you want to see his works, visit the Estades Gallery.
Buffet the painter, true to his style
The expressionist painter Bernard Buffet had the opportunity to try out different artistic styles and techniques during his career. This diversity allowed him to define his own style and to use it. The French painter (1928-1999) produced more than 1,000 works during his 57-year career. Over the years, his art had continued to develop, but during his years of activity, he remained faithful to sculpture.
From his early empty interior to the shocking death image of his latest masterpiece, his focus had always been on representatives, including his views on monuments and legendary clowns. The galleries that supported him still exhibit his work, but this fidelity to the figures distanced him from the mainstream of the art world at that time.
Bernard Buffet: a painter misunderstood by his time
It seems strange to say that Bernard Buffet is a misunderstood painter, while his paintings are often sold at auction for large sums of money, especially the fan-favourite Clown paintings. Fifty years ago, the painter was the subject of a Parisian competition or a French television report. But when you consider that the only gallery dedicated to his work is in Japan, then it is certain that this famous 20th century French painter is unknown in his native country.