Bernard Buffet : short biography of the clown painter

Bernard Buffet

Bernard Buffet was a highly acclaimed artist who was born in France in the year 1928, lived for 71 years, and passed away in 1999. Having studied art in school, most of Bernard’s life was centered around art. He was a student at the National School of fine arts and practiced at the studio of one of his professors. Paired with his incredible talent, no wonder he turned out as one of the most celebrated French painters. Bernard Buffet’s legacy still lives on, with a substantial amount of his work displayed at the Estades art gallery.

Bernard Buffet’s Life as a Painter

As a student, he studied alongside other impeccable artists whose work motivated him. In addition to this, through networking, he interacted with like-minded artists who influenced some of the pieced he worked on while kick-starting his career as a painter. It was at the tender age of 18 when Bernard had the first display of his painting. Henceforth, he had an exhibition yearly, to showcase his work to art lovers who had now grown to be fans of his excellent paintings. In 1955 when Bernard was 27 years old, he received his first award as an artist. 

This was only 9 years after the artist had begun exhibiting his paintings. He was recognized as one of the highest-ranking postbellum artists. Having his skills acknowledged while below 30, he was now aware that his paintings were impactful. This propelled him to create more inspiring pieces. His interest in art did not stop here, as he got married to a lady who equally loved art. She was not only an actor but also a writer. They adopted 3 children and perhaps by coincidence, in 1973, the same year when their 3rd child was born, the Bernard Buffet Museum was instituted.

The museum was established in Japan, by a renowned scholar whose popularity was attributable to research work and inventions. The museum also served as a boost for his work, enhancing his paintings’ global appreciation. In Bernard’s prime years, between his early 20s and early 30s, his talent was receiving massive attention. In addition to this, there was a lot of media coverage around his lifestyle. However, this started fading from the 1970s going forward, as interest in his work started reducing. The focus shifted from metaphorical art, which was Bernard’s specialty. 

What was the theme of Bernard Buffet’s Paintings?

Bernard Buffet clown theme must have been his favorite. He enjoyed creating paintings that were either the faces or portraits of clowns. Most of these clowns painted were sad, and this told a story. The sad faces were emblematic of Bernard Buffet’s emotional struggles. Through the theme of the clown Bernard Buffet used his work as an outlet for what he was feeling deep within, such as anxiety. On top of this, the faces of the clowns also depicted the mood that was looming around especially after the war. His paintings captured the darkness and misery that still existed from the experiences of the war. 

Even though people’s art preferences changed over time, this did not stop Bernard Buffet from sharpening his skills and working on more paintings. He only stopped when he got unwell and was no longer capable to work. He suffered Parkinson’s disease and unfortunately, he died of suicide towards the end of the 20th century. Nonetheless, his demise did not influence the work he had done while alive. In the course of his life, Bernard produced more than 8000 paintings. All these paintings still live on and their creator is until now celebrated and admired.

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