LA TOUR, Georges de
(b. 1593, Vic-sur-Seille, d. 1652, Luneville)

Cheater with the Ace of Diamonds

Oil on canvas, 106 x 146 cm
Musée du Louvre, Paris

Georges de La Tour perfected the technique to carry banal or clownish scenes to an astonishingly delectable and sometime sublime state. The posturings of the dupes and scoundrels in the Cheater with the Ace of Diamonds confirm the artist's attachment to mocking scenes rendered in a dense, dazzling manner. The malicious cheating that occurs in this painting is admirably enhanced by costumes, movements, glances, poses, and even headwear. This is a 'chic' version of Caravaggesque gambling scenes - morally more sinister but more glamorous and droll to look at.