The Card Players

Artist: Paul Cézanne (French, Aix-en-Provence 1839–1906 Aix-en-Provence)

Date: 1890–92

Medium: Oil on canvas

Dimensions: 25 3/4 x 32 1/4 in. (65.4 x 81.9 cm)

Classification: Paintings

Credit Line: Bequest of Stephen C. Clark, 1960

Accession Number: 61.101.1


This is probably the first in a series of five paintings that Cézanne devoted to peasants playing cards. Enlisting local farmhands to serve as models, he may have drawn inspiration for his genre scene from a seventeenth-century painting by the Le Nain brothers in the museum in his hometown of Aix. The Metropolitan’s picture was followed by a version twice its size, which includes the additional figure of a standing child at right (Barnes Foundation, Philadelphia). In the last three compositions, Cézanne continuously pared away details, focusing on just a pair of card players.