LE NAIN brothers
(b. 1598/1610, Laon, d. Louis and Antoine: 1648, Mathieu: 1677, Paris)

Young Card Players

Oil on copper mounted on panel, 30 x 39 cm
The Clark Art Institute, Williamstown

Contemporaries of Rembrandt van Rijn and Diego Velázquez, the Le Nain brothers – Antoine, Louis, and Mathieu – created some of the most beautiful and enigmatic paintings of the seventeenth century. These rosy-cheeked children appear to play cards innocently, however they are actually trying to cheat the well-dressed boy, second from right. While the Le Nains did not individually sign their works, recent scholarship has suggested that Antoine preferred to work on smaller, rigid supports like panel or copper.

© Web Gallery of Art, created by Emil Krén and Daniel Marx.