VALENTIN DE BOULOGNE
(b. 1591, Coulommier-en-Brie, d. 1632, Roma)
Soldiers Playing Cards and Dice (The Cheats)1618-20
Oil on canvas, 121 x 152 cm
National Gallery of Art, Washington
This painting, like Valentine's Card-sharpers in Dresden, belongs to the artist's early Roman career, and it shows the influence of Caravaggio's principal follower and popularizer, Bartolomeo Manfredi. The figure of the accomplice, whose hand scarcely emerges from his cloak, draws on the allegorical figure of Winter in Manfredi's Allegory of the Four Seasons of c. 1610. Furthermore, the figure of the dupe, especially in physiognomy, surely has benefited from the example of the same figure in Manfredi's Fortune Teller.