Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) was born in Paris, France . Painter of Expressionism and a member of the anti-abstract art group “L’homme Temoin” (the Witness-Man) and studied art at the ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts.
In 1943, he entered the « Ecole Nationale Superieure des Beaux-Arts » where he studied for two years.
In 1946, he had his first painting shown, a self-portrait, at the Salon des Moins de Trente Ans at the Galerie Beaux-Arts.
In 1947, he exhibited « L’homme accoude » at the Salon des Independants and in December of the same year he had his first solo exhibition, at the Art Impressions book shop in Paris, organized by Guy Weelen and Michel Brient. Raymond Cogniat bought, for the Paris National Museum of Modem Art, a painting entitled « Nature morte au poulet ».
In April 1948, the painting « Le Buveur » was exhibited at the « Jeune Peinture exhibition » organized at the Galerie Drouant-David. His painting was bought by Doctor Girardin, who, at his death, left it to the Paris Museum of Modern Art.
In 1955, he was awarded the first prize by the magazine Connaissance des arts, which named the 10 best post-war artists. He met Georges Simenon who became his close friend. He bought property in Domont, near Paris, that he left the following year to live at the « Chateau l’Arc » near Aix-en-Provence, which was to be his main residence until 1964.
In 1958 Bernard Buffet was hailed by The New York Times Magazine as one of ‘France’s Fabulous Young Five’, together with Françoise Sagan, Yves Saint Laurent, Roger Vadim and Brigitte Bardot.
Buffet was awarded the Critic’s Prize at the Galerie Saint-Placide in Paris, in conjunction with Lorjou. In July there was an exhibition of his works at this same gallery.
In 1961 he painted a series of paintings depicting the life of Jesus Christ, intended to decorate the Chapelle de Chateau l’Arc. Ten years later, at the request of Monseigneur Pasquale Macci (secretary to Pope Paul VI) he offered these paintings to the Vatican Museum where they remain on permanent exhibition.
In 1971 he was named « Chevalier de la Legion d’Honneur ».
In 1973 the Bernard Buffet Museum was inaugurated; it was founded by Kiichiro Okano, in Surugadaira, Japan.
In 1974 he was elected to the Académie des Beaux-Arts.
In 1978, at the request of the Postal Administration; he designed a stamp depicting l’Institut et le Pont des Arts.
December 9, 1988 a large extension to the Bernard Buffet Museum was inaugurated in Japan.
Buffet’s body of work exceeds 8,000 paintings and prints. He was one of the first artists to depict Paris itself in a cubist style, likely due to the oppression of the city during his formative years. It is possible that the sheer expense of paints contributed toward his propensity toward the sparing use of paint on the canvas; and he used very little color, working primarily in grays, black, “bistres” and greens.