Biography – BERNARD BUFFET
Bernard Buffet was a French painter born in Paris 1928 and died in 1999. In 1943, he joined the National School of Fine Arts in Paris that he would leave two years later. In 1946 he exhibited his first painting, a portrait, at the ‘Salon des Moins de Trente Ans’ at the ‘Beaux-Arts Gallery of Fine Arts’. In 1947, his painting untitled “Nature morte au Poulet” (Still life with Chicken) is purchased by the National Museum of Modern Art in Paris. In April 1948, he presented his painting “Le Buveur” (The Drinker) at the ‘Prize for Young Painters’ organized at the ‘Drouant-David Gallery’ in Paris. In 1955, he won first place in the referendum organized by the magazine ‘Connaissance des Arts’ designating the ten best painters of the postwar period. In 1958, he met Annabel Schwob who became his muse. In 1961 he painted a series of paintings depicting the life of the Christ destined to decorate the ‘Château l’Arc’ chapel. Ten years later, at the request of the secretary of Pope Paul VI, Bernard Buffet offered these paintings to the Vatican Museum where they are exposed in a special room. In May 1971 he was named Chevalier of the Legion of Honour. In 1973 Bernard Buffet inaugurated the Bernard Buffet Museum in Surugadaira, Japan and was elected to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1974. In 1993, he was promoted Chevalier des Arts et Lettres. In 1997, the first symptoms of Parkinson’s disease appeared. No longer able to paint, Bernard Buffet committed suicide in 1999. His austere and realistic paintings express fear, suffering, poverty and the experience of a generation marked by war.