Bernard Buffet and the sad clowns

Published on : 03 May 20213 min reading time
Sad clowns with pointy hats, a kind of work which Bernard Buffet is fond of.  You see sad clowns’ heads in Bernard Buffet’s paintings. He is a great expressionist artist who gets excited about clownish representations. During his lifetime he painted many canvases in the clown theme and the clown heads rarely smile. Paradoxes of unhappy and sad faces and most of his characters in his paintings wear hats, and those wearing pointed hats are the most famous of all. The representation is also associated with two or three different expressions.

Bernard Buffet’s sad clown head painting

One of the most famous representations of Bernard Buffet’s clown is the Sad Clown of 1955. The lithograph has a format of 73*60cm and has become so well known worldwide that several copies were made for it. The melancholy of these clowns is very remarkable. You can see it on the prints and the shape of his face which is particularly rectangular. Bernard Buffet drew it in a specific way by opting for horizontal guidelines, one of his eyebrows with a black bow, the beards with a green triangle, the nose with a red triangle and the mouth with an orange rectangle. The clown chin has been drawn horizontally and the wrinkles have been marked horizontally with black paint. A very remarkable line is visible on the background of Bernard’s painting which signs the neutrality of his works. Cold colours are most dominant in these paintings, but sometimes he plays with warm colours to contrast his works.

Bernard buffet’s painting of a clown with a sad, pointed hat

A very famous work in the art gallery is Bernard Buffet’s depiction of a clown with a pointy hat. The original copy made by this lithographer has a format of 76*56 centimetres and the its estimate is up to 4700 euros. The lithograph is framed with gold and silver patina in a format of 100*81 cm. You will only see 150 copies of Bernard’s Clown with a Pointed Hat and they are signed and numbered by the artist himself. The many triangles in this lithograph have accentuated the melancholy and sadness of the clown. The artist’s pointed hat clown with a bald head and the whole face is covered with white make-up including white paint to mark certain elements of the face, eyebrows, ears, nose and mouth. Even with a hat, you find rare hair on the head of the circus character that has been painted red. Bernard Buffet mixed the colour orange and red to paint the clown lips with the tiny brown pointed hat.

The clown theme, Bernard Buffet’s passion

On the theme of clowns, Bernard Buffet managed to produce up to fifty works. The rarely smiling Bernard Buffet’s clown characters are Bernard Buffet’s passions. In fact, most of his watercolours and lithographs are in clown form. If you look at his masterpieces, you can see that every clown character is melancholic, sad, with a shy and deeply distressing look. Bernard Buffet has changed the game completely by creating these sad paintings in contrast to the common belief of clowns usually belonging to the world of joy and entertainment.

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