Lot 447
  • 447

Bernard Buffet

80,000 - 120,000 GBP
185,000 GBP
bidding is closed


  • Bernard Buffet
  • Château en Cornouailles (Angleterre) ou Hommage à Walter Scott
  • signed Bernard Buffet (upper right), and dated 1974 (upper left); titled on the reverse
  • oil on canvas
  • 89 by 130cm., 35 by 51 1/8 in.


Galerie Maurice Garnier, Paris
Sale: Christie's, New York, 5th May 2011, lot 379
Purchased at the above sale by the present owner


Yann le Pichon, Bernard Buffet, Paris, 1986, vol. II, no. 777, illustrated p. 375 (titled Hommage à Walter Scott)

Catalogue Note

Magnificently evocative of a windswept summer day on the Cornish coast, Château en Cornouailles (Angleterre) reveals Bernard Buffet’s astonishing ability to convey atmosphere through his mastery of technique. Thickly impastoed areas of paint indicate the jagged edges of fast-moving clouds, whilst rapid brushstrokes delineate the foam-tipped breakers to brilliant effect, powerfully crashing against the shoreline. The ruined chapel in the foreground stands in stark contrast to the formidable presence of the fortified castle behind it, the entire scene suggestive of a mysterious narrative that has yet to fully unfold.

The present work is imbued with a significant additional layer of symbolism and meaning when the alternative title, Hommage à Walter Scott, is taken into account. Already renowned during his lifetime, Scottish born Sir Walter Scott (1771-1832) was the author of a number of epic texts and poems, including the celebrated Marmion (1808), The Lady of the Lake (1810), Waverley (1814), and Ivanhoe (1819). Scott also edited and published texts such as Sir Tristrem: A Metrical Romance of the Thirteenth Century, a re-telling of the ancient Arthurian legend which is so deeply rooted in Cornish mythology. A connection can arguably be made between Château en Cornouailles and this tale of desperate love, which relates the story of Tristan, the nephew of King Mark of Cornwall, who falls deeply in love with Isolde, his uncle’s intended bride, with tragic consequences. Yet Buffet’s sunlit depiction of the Cornish landscape is untouched by any hint of disquiet; instead, the presence of the castle and the ruin - imbued with a curious grandeur through the artist’s magisterial handling - evokes the heroic elements inherent within Scott’s works and celebrations of ancient legends.