Card Players: Lucas van Leyden

Dutch painter Lucas van Leyden was one of the earliest exponents of genre scenes or scenes from everyday life and Card Players is a typical example of these works. Painted in 1508, we see a gaming party play cards in an atmosphere of mistrust, lechery, and cheating.

The third man from the left looks back disapprovingly at the woman trying to read his cards, while the man on the left gropes the seated woman who looks to us. Meanwhile, the standing bearded man reaches inside his cloak as if to introduce a fraudulent card to warp the game.

Lucas van Leyden’s Card Players is in the National Gallery of Art in Washington DC, United States. There are also numerous copies, both by van Leyden as well as other artists.

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