From a young age, Buffet showed remarkable artistic talent. At the age of 10, he enrolled at the École des beaux-arts in Paris, where he studied painting, engraving, and sculpture. In 1946, at just 18 years old, he exhibited for the first time at the Salon des moins de trente ans, where he immediately achieved success. His dark and melancholic vision of reality, characterized by hard lines and bold colors, quickly became his trademark.In the 1950s and 1960s, Bernard Buffet gained international recognition. His paintings, often still lifes, portraits, and urban landscapes, capture an atmosphere of isolation and alienation. His style is often referred to as "critical figuration" due to its realistic and austere representation of the human condition. In addition to his career as a painter, Buffet also explored other forms of art, including engraving, sculpture, tapestry, and even opera. He collaborated with personalities such as poet Jacques Prévert and composer Maurice Jarre. At the height of his career, Buffet was one of the richest and most famous artists in France. However, from the 1970s onwards, his style was criticized by some who deemed it repetitive and commercially oriented.
This controversy, combined with personal problems, led Buffet to distance himself from the art scene and retire to the south of France. Despite the critics, Bernard Buffet's work continues to influence many contemporary artists. His unique style, characterized by a disturbing aesthetic and precise technique, remains undeniably recognizable. Today, his works are exhibited in numerous museums around the world and continue to generate interest and fascination among art enthusiasts.