Feb 10, 2013

17th Century Paintings of Cheaters

Once in a while, Wikipedia manages to show me something that completely blows me away.  Tonight, I was reading the page for “Cheating” and found a link to cheating-related media at the Wikimedia Commons.  I expected to find diagrams for cheating devices or charts about infidelity.  Instead, there were a small collection of Renaissance paintings depicting card sharps!

Jacob van Oost (I) - Card-Sharpers - WGA16648

Some of these cheaters are really obvious.

Valentin de Boulogne - Card-sharpers - WGA24233

Others are very discreet.

Falschspieler Gerard van Honthorst

When you’re all gathered in the candlelight, there are plenty of shadows to hide in.

La Tour Le Tricheur Louvre RF1972-8

Or just wait till the wine comes around and everyone’s distracted.

Nicolas Régnier - Cardsharps and Fortune Teller - WGA19040

The English title of this one is Cardsharps and Fortune Teller, which makes me wonder.  Were these both common gameroom characters, or are they all working together?

Pieter Pourbus - O trapaceiro

Of course, at the end of the day, you’ll want to kick back and enjoy your ill-gotten gains with your crew.

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