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You’ve seen gambling-themed movies, but in this piece, we’ll discuss a much earlier form of entertainment: painting. Historically, painters have frequently found inspiration in everyday occurrences. Particularly during the Realist movement in painting, as well as after it.
And, because gambling has been around for a long time, both as a recreational pastime and as a method of earning a living, we could easily say that it has been a part of human life for a fraction of the time that some forms of art have. Those who paint what they see will, at some point, find inspiration in tossing the dice. This makes complete sense.
The following is a collection of some of the most famous paintings depicting people trying to figure out whether or not Lady Luck is on their side.
Cassius Marcellus Coolidge wrote the book Dogs Playing Poker
Let us begin with the most well-known and most recent work. If you’ve ever seen a painting of a card game, you’ve probably seen Coolidge’s “Dogs Playing Poker.” This piece of artwork was produced in 1894, and it has appeared in films and television shows, as well as on the walls of casinos and in other media.
If you are a true art connoisseur, you may have noticed that this work of art has been copied in several ways over the years. There are sixteen of them because the artist was entrusted with creating a series. Coolidge’s approach to representing dogs partaking in human activities in his paintings was characteristic. Although purist art experts dismiss this corpus of work as kitsch, its immense praise and appeal cannot be denied.
Shelly Wilkerson, the Queen of Slot Machines
The next item on our itinerary is a painting, which most of us have never seen before. The image shows an elderly woman sitting in front of a slot machine with a cat in her arms. She appears to be ecstatic over a recent win, implying that she is familiar with slot machine winning tactics. She also kindly included a bottle of wine in the present, which her cat appeared to enjoy.
This one did not go down well with the critics, who referred to it as kitsch as well. However, if you prefer slot machines or simply enjoy watching other people have fun, this would be a fantastic addition to your home decor. Not to mention that a list of paintings inspired by casinos would be incomplete if it did not include it.
The Cardsharps by Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio
The past two works on our list presented us with a more or less modern viewpoint on poker and slot games; however, Caravaggio’s work gives us a vision of how card games were played two centuries ago. More specifically, it occurred sometime around the year 1594.
If seeing anything like that isn’t enough to pique your interest, the legendary painter Caravaggio added another element, which is that one of the boys is cheating with cards behind his back. As a result, this became the name of the entire piece of artwork.
In contrast, this image has never been critiqued, even though the two preceding it are almost unanimously regarded as masterpieces of art. Especially as it is thought to be the artist’s first piece created on his own after leaving his instructor’s workshop. As a result, it holds a unique place in the history of art in general.
An Edvard Munch picture hangs over the Roulette Table
If you are familiar with any of Mr. Munch’s works of art, you are most likely familiar with his most famous painting, “Scream.” Munch was a member of the Expressionism creative movement while he was painting. It was at its peak of popularity at the turn of the twentieth century. In light of this, the point of view of a group of people playing roulette is less concerned with truth and more concerned with the feeling you get when looking at it.
Munch visited a casino in Monte Carlo before creating this image, and he worked hard to include all of his experiences, feelings, and memories in it. Tinpicture, on the other hand, does not communicate pessimism or other negative emotions to the same extent as some of his other works or expressionist works in general. However, we can argue that the participants at the table are using their body language and the fact that their faces are only partially visible to us to signal something bad about the games of chance.
Jan Steen’s A Card Game-Related Controversy
The final piece in this collection is a painting that, like the others, was created to draw to draw attention to the unfavorable aspects of gambling. The Dutch artist from the 17th century made the conscious decision to stop time at the precise moment when two card players begin a heated argument over a loss, or possibly even cheating, in the game that they are playing. Everyone in their immediate vicinity appears to be participating in whatever is taking place and has some sort of reaction to it.
Within the scope of history, this location holds significant significance. It is especially well-known for capturing a diverse range of feelings throughout its narrative. In addition to that, it illustrates a phenomenon that is still happening in our modern day. When people play dice, even though their ways have significantly evolved since the baroque and 17th century centuries, they are still prone to getting into conflicts such as this one.
To sum up
It is difficult to imagine a world in which one does not influence the other. This is true whether you believe, like Aristotle, that art is a reflection of life or, like Oscar Wilde, that the two are opposed. Gambling is something that has always been a part of life, complete with all of the advantages and disadvantages that come along with it.
As a consequence of this, it should not come as a shock to learn that painting, which is a well-liked method for humans to express themselves, has frequently been inclined to depict the moments when gamblers test their luck. Painting is an art form that has been around for a very long time.