Gambling is a part of leisure culture, and therefore rarely associated with true art. But such a simplified view of things overlooks the creation of cult literary, cinematographic and scenic objects, the creation of which was inspired by the culture of gambling. Read more about the latter in Login Casino.
It’s most likely rash to claim that gambling and art go hand in hand, but it’s also wrong to ignore the fact that for years artists used gambling in their work. Some of the paintings even managed to gain fame, recognition and bring their creators a well-deserved monetary reward.
In the era of online gambling, it is easy to forget about the ancient roots of gambling and how closely and for how long they accompany human culture. Homeland of these entertainment, which ironically renounced them, is China. One way or another, gambling has spread throughout the world. And though at the beginning of their journey and were fun for the rich, then turned into mass entertainment. It’s believed that this turning point came in the mid-15th century.
We decided to follow the way in the history of fine arts appeared and entrenched objects, the theme of which became gambling.
By the way, a list of books about gambling is contained in our separate material.
Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio “The Cardsharps” (“Cheat”)
The painting “Schuler” belongs to the famous Italian artist Caravaggio. Painted in 1594, it was one of the first independent tests of the artist, which he took after leaving the studio of Giuseppe Cesari. Having stopped painting the details of other people’s works, Caravaggio began to sell his own paintings through the merchant Constantino, with whom the artist is obliged to meet Prospero Orsi.
The canvas depicts a young man whose expensive clothes stand in stark contrast to the childish naivety imprinted by the artist on his face. The young man in the story plays cards with a cheat. The viewer can guess about the craft of the latter by cards hidden behind the belt. The painting also depicts the assistant of the sinister swindler, who carefully peeks at the cards of the young man and with the help of special gestures transmits information to the cheat. An imposing dagger attached to the assistant’s belt adds drama to the picture, as if hinting to the viewer that the party is unlikely to end well for the victim.
Currently, more than 50 copies and various variations of the canvas have been saved. All of them were created by other artists. One of them was Georges de Latour, who also decided to create his own processing of subjects.
It should be noted that the realistic composition of “Cheaters”, which was the embodiment of street life, became a breath of fresh air in the then world of painting. It drew attention to the skill of a novice artist.
The painting was a great success, which in many ways contributed to Orsi. The latter also proclaimed the emergence of a new style, which in every way contributed to the reputation of Caravaggio.
Georges de La Tour, “The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs.”
The next picture is called one of the greatest masterpieces of French art of the 17th century. Georges de la Tour tried to use a brush to depict the danger of indulging in human weaknesses – alcohol, fornication and gembbling. It is believed that the work of Caravaggio that we have reviewed was an inspiration to revisit the subject of gambling.
Another autographic version of the painting “Deception with a diamond ace” shows numerous variations in the details of the composition – clothing and accessories.
In front of the viewer is a young man surrounded by three ladies, the emphasis is on the riot of colors and the incredible beauty of the characters’ costumes. Only two women take part in the game, the third is a maid. There is wine in the glasses and playing cards in the hands. The participants of the action communicate with each other by sight, and the young man unfolds the cards so that the viewer can see their face value, as if accidentally making him an accomplice to the scheme. In doing so, the second hand reaches for the ace of clubs, thoughtfully hidden earlier behind a belt.
Jan Steen “Argument over a Card Game.”
When trying to sell the painting, its name was changed several times. There are known such variants – “The fight of card players”, as well as “The fight at the card table.
Jan Sten – Dutch master of household genre, who tried to bring in his work instructive, which at times more like moralizing. The heroes depicted by the artist are evidence of the irony of the author.
The dramatic scene from everyday life showed the drama and turbulence of emotions that accompany gambling.
In front of the viewer an intricate scene with many characters placed by the artist in the foreground and background. Given that Stan liked to resort to social satire, even a child and a dog take part in the bacchanalia. The table, which previously stood on backgammon, is now empty, and all the items necessary for gambling, scattered on the ground, as well as a decanter with wine. The main characters – representatives of different classes, which is understandable if you look at the clothes and accessories of each – threaten each other with different types of cold weapons. The one who belongs to a privileged class, grabbed a sabre, and his gambling partner pulled out a knife. The rest of the characters in the painting are trying to prevent the fight.
Even the second plan and its participants are extremely important – the expression of their faces conveys the atmosphere, someone drunk, someone funny, there are those who are seriously scared.
Cezanne “The Card Players.”
There are five versions of the series, each of them different in size and content. One of them is in a private collection, while the others are in museums. In 2011, the private version was purchased by the Royal Family of Qatar.
The Card Players, or “The Card Traders” is not a single work, but a whole series of paintings by the French post-impressionist Paul Cezanne. Moreover, the ambitious project is seen as a significant contribution to contemporary art. Work on the paintings took several years. Despite the fact that they were painted during one of the last periods of the artist’s work, some of them are considered classics of the French school.
Cezanne is known for his still life paintings, art historians believe that he chose the theme of gambling, because at that time the cartelists were a form of human still life.
Each painting in the series depicts two or more Provencal peasants, peacefully smoking their tubes, behind a card game. Cezanne painted on the model of workers from his own family estate.
Unlike the drunken, noisy peasants depicted on paintings by a Dutch realistic school of genre painting, the peasants of Cézanne are completely absorbed in the game. As a rule, all the characters of the series are depicted in silence. The paintings do not depict excitement or drama, on the contrary, Cezanne paintings give a sense of serene calm. Art historian Roger Fry, who researched post-Impressionism, described the “cartographers” as the owners of an extraordinary sense of monumental gravity, who found their center, and therefore under no circumstances are not subject to movement.