Van Gogh •
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Bernard Buffet was born in Paris where, except for summer holidays, 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 and 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.
Buffet does not like "pretty" art but prefers instead the work of such masters as
Gros, and Soutine. He paints with an intensity of feeling, and therefore has the ability to evoke it. His line is harsh and
arrow-like and his palette is dark in color with blacks and grays predominating, although he does, sometimes, use luminous
colors. His rigorous gothic art is a reflection of his own personality: individualistic, elegant, sober, solitary, and
melancholy. Architectural in construction, superbly drawn, and carefully composed, his work also has a gaunt and emaciated
appearance that bears a strange resemblance to his own very tall, thin, and ascetic look.