Games and Sports in Art

Games and Sports in Art
Experiencing the joy of playing games and participating in sports is universal and doesn't discriminate based on age or social status. I will discuss a variety of both.

Playing board games can be traced back to ancient Egypt, as the board game Senet was found in the boy king Tutankhamun's tomb.

The Greek civilization followed, with their painted vases, depicting mythology and heroic tales. One is the Francois Vase which depicts a scene of boar hunting. It dates from 570 BCE.

Northern Renaissance artist Pieter Bruegel the Elder painted "Children's Games" in 1560, where 90+ games are identified.

French Baroque artist Georges de la Tour painted "The Fortune Teller" in the 1630s. It depicts a fortune teller and her accomplices who attempt to pick the pockets of the client.

Dutch artist Jan Steen painted a popular subject in "The Card Players" around 1660.

George Stubbs was an English painter, known as the sporting painter. His "Mares and Foals in a River Landscape" is from 1763-1768.

Scottish artist Henry Raeburn painted "The Reverend Robert Walker Skating on Duddingston Loch" or "The Skating Minister" in 1795. It can be seen at the National Gallery of Scotland.

French artist Theodore Gericault painted "The Derby at Epsom" in 1821. It is located at the Louvre, Paris.

English photographer Eadweard Muybridge (1830-1904) developed a process capturing the motion of horses while trotting and galloping. This was a breakthrough in understanding a horse's movement.

American realist artist Thomas Eakins from Philadelphia, PA painted rowers on the Schuylkill River, as seen in "The Champion Single Sculls" from 1871. It can be found at the Metropolitan Museum of Art, NY.

French impressionist artist Paul Cezanne painted his take on "The Card Players" from 1890-1892. It can be seen at the Met Museum, NY.

Modern Spanish artist Pablo Picasso painted circus performers during his Rose Period, in "Family of Saltimbanques" from 1905. This painting can be found at the National Gallery of Art, Washington, DC, USA.

American realist artist George Bellows is known for his boxing paintings. His "Stag at Sharkey's" is from 1909.

French American sculptor Niki de Saint Phalle had built the Tarot Garden in Tuscany, Italy. A large scale, whimsical outdoor ensemble, begun in 1964 with the intention of liberating women, the Nana statues are mystical figures from a tarot deck, a card game that allows the participant to gain insight into the past, present, and future.

British pop artist David Hockney moved to the US in the 1960s and painted the carefree lifestyle and a series of pool paintings, as seen in "Portrait of an Artist" or "Pool with Two Figures" from 1972.

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