A Break

Union soldiers having a break are playing cards. This painting by the American artist Julian Scott contrasts a peaceful scene with the war. Playing cards has here nothing to do with vice or destiny it’s only a typical manner to pass time, especially for soldiers.


Tough Guy

The cover of a pulp western magazine from 1942.

Gambling – which means poker - is here the trade of tough men. Sure it leads to trouble, so you have to be prepared to shoot it out.


Soldiers Gambling

Soldiers Gambling with Dice (1643) by the Dutch Baroque painter Pieter Jansz Quast.

Once more the Soldiers are playing on a drum. The drum is actually indicating that they must be soldiers and not normal customers in an inn.


Beauties with Dice

Playing at Dice (1910) by the French painter René Schützenberger.

Three nude girls in a kind of oriental exotic setting are playing dice. To me it looks like the art nouveau interpretation of he traditional harem paintings which where still very popular in that time.


Tricky Joker

Heath Ledger as Joker in the film The Dark Knight of 2008. The Joker the card as well as the person have here above all treacherous tricky characteristics. Their power lies in deceiving and betraying than in real strength.

It’s the old interpretation of Fortuna as the personification of capricious luck. Gambling implies here always betrayal.


Soldiers Delight

Soldiers Playing Dice by the Italian Baroque painter Michelangelo Cerquozzi. Despite the arms it’s more a peaceful scene. Obviously poor soldiers are plying dice as a pastime.
Interesting is that they are playing dice on a drum, which must have been kind of typical because it can be seen on many paintings.