28 March 1946

Galerie Drouant-David coins the term “Jeune Peinture” by creating the Prix de la Jeune Peinture, first awarded to Pallut.





Galerie Saint-Placide opens at 41 Rue Saint-Placide; it can be considered to be Galerie Drouant-David’s alter ego on the left bank. The Prix de la Critique it institutes the following year contributes to its renown.

December 1947

Bernard Buffet realises his first personal exhibition at Galerie Les Impressions d’Art, a small bookshop on Rue des Écoles.



April 1948

A few months after Bernard Buffet, André Minaux in turn realises his first personal exhibition at Galerie Les Impressions d’Art.

21 June 1948

The First Manifeste de l’homme témoin is held at Galerie du Bac, co-organised by Lorjou and the critic Jean Bouret. Alongside Lorjou and his partner Yvonne Mottet, it includes the painters from La Ruche, Michel de Gallard, Paul Rebeyrolle and Michel Thompson, laying the groundwork for an ambitious return to realism. Jean Bouret exhorts painters to break the continuum of so-called Modern Art.

23 June 1948

Bernard Buffet and Bernard Lorjou are jointly awarded the Prix de la Critique. In that same month of June, for its reopening, the Venice Biennale greets a representative of La Jeune Peinture, Bernard Lorjou with Le Porte-Drapeau.

September 1948

At the Salon d’Automne, Bernard Buffet’s La Ramendeuse de filets and André Minaux’s Le Raccommodeur de filets are enthusiastically acclaimed by the art world. These two paintings with similar themes, dark colours and strong lines, open the doors to a new kind of realism. This is also the beginning of a strong friendship between the two painters.

December 1948

A retrospective at the end of the year with works by Bernard Buffet, Bernard Lorjou and André Minaux at Galerie Saint-Placide confirms the rise of La Jeune Peinture.



May 1949

Simone Dat marries Paul Rebeyrolle. The four painters of “Groupe de la Ruche” - Simone Dat, Michel de Gallard, Paul Rebeyrolle and Michel Thompson - can no longer be ignored.

1 July 1949

André Minaux obtains the Prix de la Critique.

29 October 1949

At Galerie Claude, on 33 Rue de Seine, the Second Manifeste de l’homme témoin opens with Bernard Buffet, Jean Couty, Charazac, Simone Dat and André Minaux joining the original group.

October 1949

The first monographs on Bernard Buffet and André Minaux are published by Presses Littéraires de France.



26 January 1950

Galerie des Beaux-Arts hosts the First Salon des Jeunes Peintres, at the instigation of Denys Chevalier and Pierre Descargues, with the participation of nearly a thousand young painters in the decade of the 1950s.

April 1950

A seminal article by Edmonde Charles-Roux published in Vogue with a photograph by Robert Randall consecrates the Groupe de l’Homme Témoin, giving this new French representational art its international renown.

May 1950

Paul Rebeyrolle obtains the Prix de la Jeune Peinture for a painting showing his wife, Simone Dat, in the position of Titian’s Man with a glove. Abstraction with its representative Messagier loses the struggle; several members of jury who are proponents of Abstract Art resign, including Bernard Dorival. In that same month of May, André Minaux displays Les Thons at the Salon de Mai and Sanglier mort at the Salon d’Automne.

June 1950

Four of Lorjou’s works are shown at the Venice Biennale, including Le Miracle de Lourdes (purchased by the City of Venice) and La Chasse aux fauves.

October 1950

Bernard Lorjou displays L’âge atomique, today in the Centre Beaubourg collections, at the Salon des Tuileries at Galerie Charpentier.




Lorjou creates a famous lithograph stigmatising these painters’ disdain for abstraction, writing: “Abstract painting makes hens swoon, monkeys yawn and donkeys bray.”


March 1951

Presses Littéraires de France publishes the first monograph dedicated to Paul Rebeyrolle.

May 1951

Bellias obtains the Prix de la Jeune Peinture for Nu dans l’atelier and André Minaux realises his first major personal exhibition at Galerie Bernier.


December 1951

The Prix National goes to Aïzpiri.




February 1952

Bernard Buffet displays La Passion du Christ at Galerie Drouant-David. This is the start of a cycle that would continue every year at the same date at Galerie Drouant-David, then at Galerie David et Garnier and Galerie Maurice Garnier, with Bernard Buffet presenting works on a major theme, as he would until his death in 1999.

May 1952

Maurice Rocher obtains the Prix de la Jeune Peinture with a Maternité.

June 1952

Aïzpiri, Bernard Buffet, André Minaux and Rebeyrolle are selected by Raymond Cogniat to participate in the Venice Biennale.


The Institute of Contemporary Arts in London organises Recent Trends in Realist Painting, an exhibition with Francis Bacon, Bernard Buffet, Lucian Freud, André Minaux, Paul Rebeyrolle and Graham Sutherland in particular.

December 1952

Guerrier joins Galerie Barreiro-Stièbel after receiving the Prix de la Rue de Seine. He would hold exhibits there every year until Christian-Gilbert Stiébel’s death in 1959.



April 1953

For the first time, André Minaux displays works at the Adams Gallery in London. On this occasion, the Tate Gallery acquires Fauteuil dans un intérieur. That same month, Bernard Lorjou presents his masterpiece La Peste en Beauce at Galerie Charpentier.

May 1953

Guerrier obtains the Prix de Jeune Peinture for Paysage au masque and exhibits at the Redfern Gallery in London.



February 1954

The term “Jeune Peinture” is institutionalised, the Salon des Jeunes Peintres being renamed Salon de la Jeune Peinture. Simone Dat receives the Prix Fernand-Léger and Michel Thompson the Prix Benveniste. Paul Rebeyrolle displays 35 paintings at the Marlborough Fine Art in London.

March 1954

Domenica Walter, the art dealer Paul Guillaume’s widow, impressed by a cow’s head – La Pâquerette – on display in a Parisian gallery, decides to promote Lorjou’s work. A major article is published in Look (4 May 1954) and the Wildenstein Gallery in New York opens to Lorjou.

May 1954

Pollet receives the Prix de la Jeune Peinture with Nature morte aux poissons et crabes. Paul Rebeyrolle paints L’Agneau mort, the starting point for a major exhibition at La Maison de la Pensée Française in 1956.

October 1954

The first École de Paris exhibition opens at Galerie Charpentier. It aims to pursue and renew the notion of the pre-War “École de Paris”. Lorjou is voted the best painter of the École de Paris 1954 with 8,100 votes out of 17,000 ballots cast.



February 1955

A referendum organised by Connaissance des Arts ranks Bernard Buffet, Bernard Lorjou and André Minaux among the top ten young masters of contemporary painting.

July 1955

Jean-Albert Cartier organises a travelling exhibition in Germany: La Jeune Peinture Française.

August 1955

The Tate Gallery presents Four French Realists, with Minaux, Montané, Rapp and Vinay, an exhibition organised by the Arts Council of Great Britain to travel throughout the country.

November 1955

The critic Marcel Zahar presents the exhibition La Nouvelle Vague at Galerie Framond.



January 1956

The Marlborough Fine Art presents a selection of eighteen painters from the Sixth Salon de la Jeune Peinture in London, an experiment that would be renewed in 1957. Simone Dat and Cueco obtained the Marlborough Prize at the Seventh Salon de la Jeune Peinture.

May 1956

Rebeyrolle exhibits at La Maison de la Pensée Française.

June 1956

Bernard Buffet displays twenty-three of his works at the Venice Biennale.

Fin 1956

The Groupe de la Ruche breaks up.





The Tate Gallery acquires Truite, a work by Paul Rebeyrolle through the Marlborough Fine Art.

May 1957

Jean-Albert Cartier organises the Biennale Jeune Peinture-Jeune Sculpture at the Musée des Arts Décoratifs.




January 1958

Galerie Charpentier presents Cent tableaux de 1944 à 1958, by Bernard Buffet.

19 May 1958

André Malraux gives a speech at the Cannes Film Festival announcing the end of representational painting.

7 August 1958

A petition is published in Les Lettres Françaises against a ban on exhibitions by Picasso and Lorjou.




March 1959

Jean-Claude Bellier exhibits La Jeune Peinture Française at the New York Coliseum.

2 October 1959

Raymond Cogniat opens the very official Biennale de Paris at the Paris Museum of Modern Art, where abstract art triumphs, to the indignation of much of the press.

30 October 1959

Lorjou successfully sues Bernard Dorival for slander. In his book, Les Peintres du XXe siècle, he had written of Bernard Buffet: “... a single quality admits no discussion: that of having vied with the Renault Car Company for the record of productivity in France and raised painting to the status of mass-produced industrial object.” He also described Lorjou as “a ‘Tartarin’ of painting, for whom gab means fecundity and ‘temperament’ means talent, who has committed yet another confusion and identified Expressionism with exhibitionism.”



November 1960

Minaux’s La Noce is shown at La Maison de la Pensée Française.