Bernard Lignon (French, 1921-) is a well known listed French Expressionist painter born in 1921, and is primarily known for his landscapes, Parisian and Venetian cityscapes, street views & canal scenes, marine scenes of harbor & river views, floral still lifes, as well as portraits and figurative works of clowns, harlequins and toreadors. His birthdate is often mislisted as 1928, which is incorrect for this artist.
Early in his career, Lignon exhibited in various cities in the United States to include New York, Miami and Chicago. During the late 1950’s-1960’s, he exhibited in London (c1959/60) which was a complete sell out for the artist, and also in and around Paris at places such as Galerie Paul Pétridès (1962, 1964 & 1966) and Galerie Barbizon (1983), who also had represented his work in their galleries. One humorous story from his 1964 exhibit at the Galerie Pétridès from an old newspaper article in The Evening Star (Washington, DC), mentions that one of Lignon’s paintings was purchased by famous film actress Great Garbo. He was disappointed however, because she would give him no other autograph than the one on her check. Lignon questioned, “Should I cash the check and get the money, or keep it and have the autograph? Women always make a man’s life difficult.”
Notable friends of Lignon’s included people such as the Italian-French actor and singer Yves Montand, Italian actor Lino Ventura, French film producer Georges Cravenne, Baron Empain and well known furrier & fellow poker player André Ciganer (born Aron Chouganov), father of Cecilia Attias (formerly Cécilia Sarkozy). According to a 2008 article in l'express, the 86 year old Lignon was an inveterate poker player. He and André Ciganer were best friends and they played poker together, and Bernard was known to have put large sums of money on the table during a game. He once stated, “We played almost every night in the rue Marbeuf, and there were big sums of money on the table. I could put up to 20,000 or 30,000 francs and was a big winner.” (equaled about $4,515–$6775 USD at the time) In speaking about his best friend, Lignon said, “I always have a thought for him. I have a zebra-skin that he gave me against a painting I had offered him, a very warm, very touching Jew from Central Europe, Very human.”
(Compiled by Mark Strong of Meibohm Fine Arts, East Aurora, NY, meibohmfinearts.com, from sources: lexpress.fr, online magazine article translated from French, “Cécilia. La face cachée de l'ex-première dame”, 01/31/2008, Courtesy Pygmalion; Past exhibition catalogs from Galerie Paul Pétridès and Galerie Barbizon; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, Buffalo Courier-Express (Buffalo, NY), “Through the Periscope”, by Lucy Laureate, Pg. 3-C, Sunday, September 3, 1950, PDF Buffalo NY Courier Express 1950 - 8895.pdf; newspapers.com, online digitized newspaper article, Tucson Daily Citizen, (Tucson, AZ), Pg. 44, Saturday, January 16, 1960; fultonhistory.com, online digitized newspaper article, The Evening Star (Washington, DC), “Garbo Perpetrates A New Quandary”, Saturday, July 11, 1964, PDF Washington DC Evening Star 1964 A - 1096.pdf.)