How gambling inspired some of the greatest works of art

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How gambling inspired some of the greatest works of art

Looking for painting ideas or think that famous artwork needs some divine inspiration? Well, not really. You can paint without it because you can find inspiration in all the things around you. When you think of gambling or when you’re playing this site at Jetbull you probably don’t necessarily think of the fact that you could paint what you know, but actually there have been many great painters that decided to create gambling paintings.

Ever since the middle of the 15th century people have been gambling and painting about it. We could go back to these old times and even find the influences of gambling in religious paintings like for example The Crucifixion by Andrea Mantegna which was painted in 1467, even there you can see people in the background playing dice.

Even famous painters like Michelangelo Caravaggio painted with oil on canvas the Gamblers between 1571 and 1610. Later on we find another mention of dice in 1643 in Soldiers Gambling by Pieter Quast.

In The Card Players series, painted by French Post-Impressionist artist Paul Cézanne in the early to mid-1890s, you will find five different paintings that all vary in size, with different numbers of players.

While we’ll even find gambling games in the Edvard Munch Paintings Collection, the most famous ones were painted by less-known painters that actually rose to fame because of their casino games themed paintings.

Maybe the most famous one of all, the artwork that everyone has seen or heard about is the “Dogs playing poker” piece. Painted by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge at the end of the 19th and beginning of the 20th century with the purpose of advertising cigars and smoking, it’s actually not just one piece but a series of 18 oil paintings. The first one of them entitled Poker Game was sold in 2015 for a whopping $658,000 at a Sotheby’s New York sale. While it was considered a kitsch for a long time, critics are saying now that it could be a satire of modern society.

Contemporary artists are also painting about gambling and even gambling addiction. You can see horse races in For The Roses by Hanne Lore Koehler, Blackjack in the Burning Black Jack by Michael Godard and even slots in Slotmachine Queen painted by Shelly Wilkerson.

Do you know any other gambling-inspired paintings? Do you think you could find inspiration in this theme as well?

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