Art and Gambling: Paintings Dedicated to Gambling

Author: David Holard. Updated: 09 October 2023

As you can guess, we make selections not only of online casinos but also of everything that is somehow related to gambling. This time, we offer you the opportunity to dive into the world of art and study the paintings of great artists who have dedicated their work to gambling.

Dogs Playing Poker – Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

Dogs Playing Poker by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge

This series of paintings, particularly "A Friend in Need," is perhaps the most iconic depiction of dogs engaged in a poker game. It's a humorous take on gambling.

This series of paintings was actually created as part of a marketing campaign for cigars in the early 20th century. Coolidge painted a total of 16 "Dogs Playing Poker" works, and they have become pop culture icons.

The Cardsharps – Caravaggio

The Cardsharps by Caravaggio

Painted in the early 17th century, this Baroque masterpiece shows a young man being cheated at cards by a cunning older man. It's a classic representation of the theme of gambling.

Caravaggio's use of light and shadow in this painting is a characteristic of his style, known as "tenebrism," which adds depth and drama to the scene.

The Card Sharp with the Ace of Diamonds – Georges de La Tour

The Card Sharp with the Ace of Diamonds by Georges de La Tour

The artwork portrays a scene of a card game where a young man on the right is losing his money to the other players. Both of these players seem to be colluding in the deception. Meanwhile, the skilled card player on the left is discreetly retrieving the ace of diamonds from behind his back.

The painting's moral message warns against the vices of cheating and gambling.

The Card Players – Paul Cézanne

The Card Players by Paul Cézanne

Cézanne's series of paintings, including "The Card Players," portrays Provencal peasants engrossed in a game of cards. These paintings are considered some of his most important works. Cézanne's "The Card Players" series consists of five known paintings, each with different compositions and characters.

One of the versions was sold in 2011 for over $250 million, making it one of the most expensive paintings ever sold.

Gamblers in Monte Carlo – Edvard Munch

Gamblers in Monte Carlo by Edvard Munch

This painting by the famous Norwegian artist Edvard Munch portrays the anxiety and tension associated with gambling.

Edvard Munch, best known for his iconic painting "The Scream," also explored themes related to gambling, reflecting the anxieties of modern life.

The Card Players in an Interior – Jan Steen

The Card Players in an Interior by Jan Steen

This 17th-century Dutch painting humorously depicts a scene of revelry and merriment during a card game, with a moralizing message about the consequences of excess.

"The Card Players in an Interior" is part of his larger body of work that often showcased moral lessons within scenes of merriment.