Gambling and art are two things that people do not usually associate with each other, but down the centuries there have been some fantastic artists who have decided to use gambling as a theme for their art. Some of their work is now worth a pretty penny. Below we will take a look at some of the most famous gambling related paintings.
Nowadays, we live in a world that is full of online casinos, which means that the majority of us have forgotten, or just never learnt, about gambling’s origins. Well, gambling is a practice that has existed for hundreds and hundreds of centuries. Card games, it is believed, originally started in China and then they started to spread across the globe.
Originally, gambling was an act that was reserved for the upper-classes but come the 15th century the average working man started to gamble much more. Not only did some of the world’s greatest artists paint card games, but gambling became something that went on to inspire some of the best artwork in existence. You can learn more about some of these below.
The Cardsharps by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
This painting was created by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio. He was known for his Italian Baroque art and it is believed that he painted this masterpiece around 1594. In this painting, you can see two boys playing a game of cards, but one of the boys is obviously cheating. You can see an older male looking over the shoulder of the boy that is not cheating, telling the cheater what cards he has.
The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs by Georges de La Tour
Georges de La Tour painted this wonderful piece of art somewhere between 1626 and 1629. In this painting you can see two females playing cards with a male, who cheats by pulling two aces from his trousers when they are not paying attention. The maidservant and the other woman on the right are showing signs of anxiety and suspicion. In 1635, de La Tour created another adaption of this painting which he called “The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds”.
Argument Over a Card Game by Jan Steen
Jan Steen, a talented Dutch artist, created this painting at the time of the Dutch Golden Age. Many art critics consider it to be one of the best, if not the best, gambling themed pieces of art ever produced. Steen manages to use a card game to show people just how dramatic gambling can be. He captures the life of common folk and turned a chaotic situation into a true masterpiece.
The Card Players by Paul Cezanne
Paul Cezane was known for his oil paintings and “The Card Players” is a series of 5 oil paintings that were created by Cezanne during the 1890s. Cezane was a French Post-Impressionist artist and these paintings captured the average peasant gambling and smoking away in taverns, which was one of the only types of entertainment that they could make use of when they were not working.
Dogs Playing Snooker by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
If you were to go up to a random person on the street and ask them whether have ever seen a piece of art with some dogs playing snooker, then there is a very high chance that they will reply in the affirmative. This is because this series of paintings have gone on to become so of the most recognizable gambling paintings in the world. At the beginning of the 20th century, Brown and Bigelow commissioned Cassius Marcellus Coolidge to create such paintings as a way to advertise their cigars. These paintings are now extremely popular in the United States and can be found in many pubs across the United Kingdom.
Soldiers Playing Cards by Fernand Leger
Fernand Leger, a Cubist Artist, was heavily influenced by the likes of Cezanne and Picasso. “Soldiers Playing Cards” is considered by many art critics to be his masterpiece and he uses it to portray his fascination with WWI. He combined Cubism alongside machine aesthetics, while highlighting the mechanical aspect of war as well as the ambiguity of those who happen to be taking part in it. He constructed this masterpiece when he was in hospital recovering after the Battle of Verdun.
You Can Purchase a Copy of These Paintings
If you like the sound of any of these paintings, then have a closer look at the on the Internet. If you like the look of what you see, then you will be happy to hear that it is easy to buy replicas of each one that will look amazing on your wall. Unfortunately, if you want an original then you are going to have to shell out at least a few million dollars. You can get the replicas for a very fair price and, like we just said, they look just as good sitting on your wall.