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Bernard Buffet's work cannot be easily classified. He paints large canvases and averages one show a year, devoting each to a single theme. The long and varied list includes Paris, the circus, the life of Joan of Arc, and Venice. He works tirelessly wit
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Bernard Buffet is a French painter who came to prominence in France in the 1950s. As described in this program, he quickly fell out of favor yet retained a certain popularity, particularly in Japan, where a collector built a museum dedicated to his artwork. This documentary, which was produced in 1998 in France and adapted for English-speaking audiences with voice-overs for the narrator and the interviews, constitutes a defense of Buffet's art. Buffet's fierce painting, which is figurative, bears a certain affinity with cartoon characters, while also addressing serious topics such as the effects of war. Other topics include landscape and religion. The program, which runs just under an hour, includes footage from the last 50 years and interviews with his major collectors and gallery dealers, as well as his wife, who was also his model. Of particular interest is watching Buffet work on a large painting adapted from Jules Verne's novel 20,000 Leagues Under the Sea. --Anne Barclay Morgan
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