Bernard Buffet’s paintings, a singular artist and a key figure in the history of art in France in the 20th century, have long been popular with the art market. Auction houses, art experts, museums of modern and contemporary art and the art world in general recognize his paintings as the marker of the expressionist movement.
Bernard Buffet is considered one of the major painters of the 20th century in France and a central figure of the Expressionist movement. Benefiting very early on from a public infatuation, he was also criticized by critics. His work of the late 1940s and 1950s, already highly noticed at the time, is characterized by dark colours, a reflection of the post-war period. It was also during these years that he definitively adopted what makes his style unique: sharp lines. For Bernard Buffet, this period marked the beginning of his collaboration with the gallery owner Maurice Garnier, who would exhibit and defend his work throughout his life. As his resounding commercial success grew, his luxurious and ostentatious lifestyle earned him both critical acclaim and the headlines of major magazines. The year 1958 was a turning point in Bernard Buffet’s life and career. He separates from Pierre Bergé, with whom he had a passionate relationship, and meets his wife Annabel Schwob, with whom he will be married for more than forty years. It was also in 1958 that the Galerie Charpentier organized the first retrospective of his work. Bernard Buffet was elected to the Academy of Fine Arts in 1974 and in 1975 the couple moved to Tourtour in the Var, which they never left. The end of Bernard Buffet’s life is marked by illness: he who used to paint with passion and determination is now prevented from doing so and ends his life at home in 1999. In 2016, the Musée d’Art moderne de la Ville de Paris is organizing a major retrospective of his work.
The auction house Aguttes Commissaire-priseur regularly sells Bernard Buffet’s works at auction, always with very good results. The Contemporary Art department, through its experience and knowledge of the market, offers to appraise and estimate works by Bernard Buffet in complete confidentiality. The Aguttes study has developed over the years a vast network of international sellers and buyers, among whom are many Bernard Buffet enthusiasts. In 2015, Rouen. Bateaux de commerce and barges (89 x 130 cm – 39 x 51 1/4 in.) made in 1972 was auctioned 331.500 €.