Attributed to Gawen Hamilton
An Elegant Company Playing Cards c.1725

Artwork details

Attributed to Gawen Hamilton c.1698–1737
An Elegant Company Playing Cards
Date c.1725
Medium Oil paint on canvas
Dimensions Support: 692 x 577 mm
Acquisition Purchased 1967
Not on display

Display caption

This is thought to be the work of Gawen Hamilton who specialised in conversation pieces: small-scale paintings depicting family or friends, usually in informal surroundings. Here a group of gentlefolk enjoy a game of cards. Their status as patrons of the arts is suggested by the presence of an artist, his assistant carrying a folder of sketches, and by an allegory of 'Painting and Sculpture' hanging on the wall. In the left corner turned from the group, a small black page fetches a glass of wine from a wine cooler. In many conversation pieces black servants appear as silent shadowy figures, alienated from the life of the household, often depicted like pets or other possessions.

September 2004

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