Georges de La Tour, The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs

Georges de La Tour found success in his lifetime as a painter to King Louis XIII of France, who acquired his work throughout the 1600s. But de La Tour was lost to history after his death. He was rediscovered in the early twentieth century. Paintings by him have been identified in the ensuing decades but remain very rare—numbering under fifty. His work The Cheat with the Ace of Clubs, is an oil on canvas that dates to the early 1630s. In it, de La Tour tells a story with all the eye glances and hand gestures of the mistresses, maid and Duke—accomplished with a distinctive style, a virtuoso application of brilliant color, sharply observations, and masterful use of light and shadow in a very tight space. These details and more make this work a masterpiece and a favorite in the Kimbell Art Museum’s collection. Learn more about this work, its elusive artist with the museum’s Director, Eric Lee.