(b. 1839, Aix-en-Provence, d. 1906, Aix-en-Provence)

Card Players

Oil on canvas, 65 x 81 cm
Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York

Cézanne painted a series of The Card Players, consisting of five paintings, during his final period in the early 1890s. The versions vary in size and in the number of players depicted. Cézanne also completed numerous drawings and studies in preparation for the series.

Each painting depicts Provençal peasants immersed in smoking their pipes and playing cards. The subjects, all male, are displayed as studious within their card playing, eyes cast downward, intent on the game at hand. Cézanne adapted the motif from 17th-century Dutch and French genre painting which often depicted card games with rowdy, drunken gamblers in taverns.

View examples of Card Players from the 17th century.