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The Cardsharps

Posted on April 26, 2012 in Articles

The Cardsharps

An iconic painting from 1594 that shows two card cheats in action.

Michelangelo Merisi da Caravaggio created what is arguably the most copied painting ever to depict gambling and more specifically, playing cards. Completed around 1594 and now on permanent display at the Kimball Art Museum in Ft. Worth, Texas, The Cardsharps shows a young aristocrat being fleeced by two cheats.

The first cheat signals the strength of the honest player’s hand, while the other cheat removes cards from his waistband to beat his unwary opponent. As a painting, it’s a masterpiece, and as a method of cheating at cards – well, let’s just say it isn’t exactly obsolete. Our advice? Admire, but don’t imitate!