The Cardsharps and Fortune Teller 1620-22
Nicolas REGNIER (1591 - 1667)

Oil on canvas, 174 x 228 cm

Nicolas REGNIER: The Cardsharps and Fortune Teller

Szépmûvészeti Múzeum, Budapest


French Caravaggist Nicolas Regnier painted this canvas in the early 1620s. The Caravaggio influence is obvious, with many elements from other masters as well, namely Valentin de Boulogne. This painting is basically a knock off of Valentin's Cardsharpers and Soldiers Playing Cards and Dice. What is surprising is the presence of the fortune teller, which one might think is borrowed from La Tour's Fortune Teller, but according to art historians this one is an earlier painting.

Regnier undoubtedly intended to illustrate a comic element in this dramatic scene. Two young dupes fall victims to a swarm of crooks, con men and cheats. While one dupe counts the last of his money at cards his partner is getting ripped off by a fortune teller.