Famous Paintings Featuring Casinos you must know
Gambling and art do go hand in hand. Many of the famous artists over the past years have used gambling in their works and their works have become masterpieces. So, here we are to acquaint you with some of the most popular and best-loved gambling paintings which were featured throughout history. Let us dwell deeper!
With the ever-increasing popularity of the casinos across the globe, we tend to forget its roots. Well, precisely, it is generally believed that playing cards started in China and was eventually spread across the world. Also, the popularity of dice decreased during the 15th century, playing cards became a more popular form of gambling. Although this activity was reserved for the privileged at first, in the middle of the 15th-century, men started to gamble more often. It all began there.
After a few years, the well-known artists painted about playing cards and soon, history saw some of the most inspired works which emerged from gambling. Some of the renowned art pieces include:
The Cardsharps – Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
Painted by the Italian Baroque artist Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio, The Cardsharps was created in the 16th century, around 1594. This exquisite painting illustrates two boys playing cards, where one of them has extra cards hidden behind his back. The picture also depicts an old man peering over the innocent player’s shoulder, signalling to a cardsharp who is obviously his acquaintance. All of them are bound together by the common drama, where each of them plays their own part within the larger play.
The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs – Georges de La Tour
Painted between 1626 and 1629 by Georges de La Tour, The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs depicts the scene where two women are playing cards with a man, who used a moment of their distraction to cheat and produce two aces from behind his belt. At the same time, the maidservant and the female on the right are showing some sign of anxiety and suspicion. This art piece is very much lively and realistic as it shows players’ gestures that signal their next moves. It is also to be noted that the later version of the original painting, The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds, was created in the year 1635, with of course minor differences.
Argument Over a Card Game – Jan Steen
This art piece belongs to the Dutch Golden Age and it is one of the most well-liked paintings of all time, popularly called Argument Over a Card Game, originally painted by Jan Steen. This iconic art piece was created in the second half of the 17th century and captures the art of gambling turning beautifully into a drama, over a classic card game. In his paintings, Steen captured the everyday life of common people and managed to turn the chaotic situations subtly into true pieces of art.
The Card Players – Paul Cezanne
This art piece called The Card Players represents a series of oil paintings, created by Paul Cézanne. Cezanne was a French Post-Impressionist artist who simultaneously completed a number of drawings and studies while making the series of famous card players. In total, there were five paintings in the series, which was made during the early-to-mid period of the 1890s. Each of Cezanne’s card players in the painting portrayed drunken peasants in taverns, smoking and playing cards, which was perhaps their only way of communication outside of work.
Dogs Playing Poker – Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
Dogs Playing Poker consist of a series of paintings created by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. They are very recognisable pieces of gambling art, appreciated by people of all ages and backgrounds. Typically, Dogs Playing Poker refers to a sequence of sixteen oil paintings, created from the mid-1900s to the mid-1910s, commissioned by Brown and Bigelow with a sole purpose to advertise cigars. All the pieces characterised humanise dogs playing poker. The paintings became widespread across the USA, as examples of kitsch art in home decoration.
Soldiers Playing Cards – Fernand Leger
Soldier Playing Cards was created in the year 1917 and influenced by Cezanne and Picasso. Fernand Leger gained a reputation as the fourth member of Cubism. His masterpiece Soldiers Playing Cards reflects his enchantment with the mechanisation of the World War I. The painting was created in 1917 during which Leger was hospitalised in Paris after the Battle of Verdun, and it remains one of his best art pieces.
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