The Card Players

by Paul Cézanne

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The Card Players by Paul Cézanne at the Barnes Foundation.

Credit: The Barnes Foundation

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A prelude to Cezanne’s final years, this depiction of Provencal peasants deeply engaged in card playing and pipe smoking is one of a series of five such works. Painted between 1890 and 1892, this version is the first, largest and most complex, featuring four men and an observing child. The other, more condensed, versions feature just four or two figures. Cezanne likely drew inspiration for his peasant series after seeing a similar-themed work by La Nain brothers in the museum at Aix.