Art and Gambling: Famous Works Of A Gambling Theme

There are few very famous artworks associated with gambling. The lifestyle of gamblers has always been appreciated by the small group of people who could afford a luxurious lifestyle and those are also the people who become patrons of the art industry. Although, gambling was a sport enjoyed by the most wealthy individuals, over time it has been enjoyed by greater variety of populations which has made gambling themed art more popular than ever.

Dogs Playing Poker

Cassius Marcellus Coolidge made a painting in the 19th century of dogs playing poker which he titled “Poker Game” and it is a collection of 18 different paintings placed together to make one large image. This painting was once considered crafty and tasteless but as years went on, the value of the painting went up and in 2015 the piece sold for a record six hundred and fifty eight thousand dollars at a New York auction. Mr. Coolidge made a number of paintings which depicted dogs doing different human activities. There are paintings of dogs reading the mail, playing blackjack similar to people at, testifying in court and ballroom dancing but none are more popular than the dozen paintings he completed about poker and gambling.

Card Games

Card games can be tracked back to the fourteenth century and their popularity quickly spread from East Asia to Europe. The duality of the winner and loser dynamic is often depicted in renaissance art. In one scenario, you have a person going from rags to riches and betting their way out of poverty. On the other hand, you have people losing their families savings and causing the downfall of an entire empire. The Baroque era works that depict gambling slip hints of cheating into their scenery. By the 19th century, genre painting and realistic painting began to depict gambling as a prominent theme in their works.