Poker is a form of art. The art of sensing the right moment to call, raise, or fold, and the art of reading others just by looking at their eyes, that’s poker in its essence. Poker has served as an inspiration to numerous painters across the world and time, and here are some of them.
Dogs Playing Poker Series by Cassius Marcellus Coolidge
Coolidge was the kind of an artist who would spend some serious time creating paintings of dogs playing dogs playing poker. Most of his paintings depict dogs that look like humans, but his most popular one called A Friend in Need actually depicts ordinary dogs sitting on a round table and holding cards. What’s interesting is that a small dog is holding the ace with his back leg under the table – clearly cheating.
Poker Night by Thomas Hart Benton
Poker Night is actually a scene from the legendary play A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams. Because of his immense amazement by one particular scene, Benton decided to create a painting of some guys playing poker where one of them utters No Women When Playing, which is exactly the name of this piece of art. The painting is a clear reference to one of the scenes from the play painted in Benton’s style.
Arts of the West by Thomas Hart Benton
Arts of the West is another painting by Benton created in a fairly similar style to the previous one. Inspired by the wild west and the cowboy style of life, Benton made sure to turn this vivid scenery held in his head into a painting. The painting features common activities of the time – riding, shooting, drinking, and, of course, playing poker. The last activity is the most prevalent in the painting.
The Cardsharps by Caravaggio
The Cardsharps was painted by a legendary Italian painter named Caravaggio. The painting depicts two boys playing Zarro, which was a really popular card game in Italy during the Renaissance. Zarro is one of the first ancestors of poker as the concept of the two games was very similar. The painting is now held in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth.
The Card Players by Cézanne
The Card Players, one of the most famous works of Cézanne, was sold for as much as $250 million. This Cézanne’s famous painting depicts two gentlemen sitting one across the other and looking at their cards. The painting is yet another evidence of the Cézanne’s unique style.
All of these paintings are created to express love towards the most popular card game in the world. If these paintings inspired you to play poker – then you know that the artists who created them really excel at their job.