The Card Players

The Card Players


Three men are drinking and smoking during a pause in their game of cards. They are well dressed and have an air of being bon-viveurs. The man at the back holds up his glass to the light, as if to check the colour or transparency of the liquid that he has poured from the flask in his left hand. The others are sharing a slender clay pipe; the man on the left holds a small liqueur glass on his knee. The floor in front of them is littered with small objects that bear witness to their evening's entertainment: a broken pipe and a discarded playing card (perhaps the ace of hearts). A tiny puppy of a miniature breed stands obediently beside them. A serving girl hovers in the doorway with a jug in her hand. This tavern scene was formerly attributed to Johan le Ducq, a pupil of Paul Potter, since he abandoned animal painting for subjects such as card players and military officers. It has now been attributed to the Flemish painter Gillis van Tilborgh the Younger, who studied with David Teniers II. Most of his paintings are signed with the monogram 'TB' and dated between 1650 and 1671. He specialised in village fairs, tavern scenes and group portraits of Brussels citizens.

Object Name

The Card Players


unframed: 37.5cm x 42.9cm
Frame: 56.5cm x 61.6cm

accession number


Place of creation





oil paint


Gift of Mrs Hatton


© Manchester Art Gallery

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