Card players, 1865
Oil on canvas
20 x 16 inches [unframed] | 28 x 24 inches [framed]
Signed at lower left : ‘[illegible]’.
Good condition on an American stretcher. Relined. Minor in-paint at bottom left corner and small spot at middle right. American flute cove frame with the original patina.
Possibly a self-portrait by the artist, the Card players, 1865 was likely painted at the end of the French intervention of the 1865 War in Mexico. The bullfighting tradition is still legal in Mexico, and the two fighters are engaged in a high stakes card battle with the onlooker (possibly the artist) subtly signaling the winner while smoking. A beautiful woman is lavishing attention on the onlooker, furthering enhancing the narrative that the onlooker may be the artist.
2015 ( David Smernoff, New Haven, CT & New York, NY ) ;
before 2015 Private collection of [withheld], Provincetown, MA ;
1865 [unattributed, American or French], the artist .
2020 David Smernoff, New York, NY, “Tiny moments : the life of genre painting”, November 15 – December 31.