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Gambling in Art: The Famous Paintings Representing Gambling

Gambling is indeed a world of its own with its rules and regulations. It refers to an act of betting, gaming, or participating in a lottery. To some, it is a way of life, a means to an end, to others, an escape route from life's troubles and to another group of people, a sin. Be it as it may, it is fun, addictive,and intoxicating. Art, on the other hand, is yet another world whereby one's imaginative and creative skill is being put down in the form of painting, writing, or sculpture. For an individual to survive in both worlds, it takes skill, talent, and dedication.

Bringing these two worlds together is something spectacular and Lucas Goldberg who is our lead man here, will pilot us around this awesome world of art and gambling which has been around for centuries now. He, in this article, will lead us through some famous art expressions that depict gambling.

Though these two worlds may seem so far apart, various artists over the years have been able to depict the world of gambling in their works and these pieces have come to be priceless today. Below is a shortlist of famous works of art with gambling as the major motif.

1. Dogs Playing Poker
2. The Card Sharps
3. The Card Players
4. Argument Over a Card Game
5. Soldiers playing Cards and
6. At the Roulette Table

Dogs Playing Poker

This has arguably been the best gambling artwork so far. It was done in 1894 by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge. This is not just a piece of artwork but a series comprising sixteen (16) several pieces that took over ten years to complete.

Basically, these sixteen awesome gambling oil paint artworks depicted humanized dogs of different breeds seated around a card table playing poker and also smoking cigars. The artwork was commissioned by Brown and Bigelow which was used to advertise cigars at the time.

The Card Sharps

An Italian who goes by the name Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio created this gambling artwork in the sixteenth (16th) century. When talking about famous gambling artworks, Caravaggio's The Cardsharps shouldn't be missed.

This piece illustrates a drama scenario whereby two boys are seen to be playing a card game, an older man standing beside one of the boys and the other boy holding a secret card behind his back who obviously is the "cardsharp" and this boy is being signaled by the older man. All three of them tell a short story with each playing their own unique parts.

The Card Players

This is also a series of five (5) oil paintings created by Paul Cézanne, a French artist from 1890 - 1895. Although these five paintings were quite different in size, they all spoke one word, "card gaming".

This particular work of his simply portrayed peasant-like characters who are seen to be enjoying a card game whilst smoking and drinking in a tavern. It goes on to tell how these characters live and socialize probably after a day's job.

Argument Over a Card Game

This is another drama scenario painted by a Dutch artist, Jan Steen. This Dutch golden age artwork describes the everyday life of commoners.
Painted during the second half of the seventeenth (17th) century, this beautiful piece was able to capture the tension, the chaotic moment from a classic game of cards.

Soldiers Playing Cards

This piece was Painted by Fernand Leger in 1917. The artwork was greatly influenced by the paintings of Cézanne and Picasso. Leger's masterpiece is a combination of cubism and machines. It was a reflection of his love for the use of mechanization in world War 1.

He is regarded as the fourth member of cubism, a kind of art where natural forms are depicted as geometric structures of planes.

At the Roulette Table

Edvard Munch's "At the Roulette Table" is an inspiration gotten from the times he visited the casino in Monte Carlo, South of France. He was fascinated by the Casino setting which led to this magnificent piece of art.

In order to perfect his own casino style and setting, Edvard painted an additional two works with the same casino theme making it a total of three paintings.
Just in case you want to feel the way Edvard felt during his visits to the Monte Carlo casino, free online slots Canada is your best pick here in Canada.


It took these artists time, dedication, skill, and creativity, in order to bring these two amazing worlds together through their artworks. They truly deserve our heartfelt gratitude.

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