The Card Players
Jan Massys (Antwerp c.1509 - Antwerp 1575)
Oil painting on panel, The Card Players by Jan Massys (Antwerp c.1509 - Antwerp 1575), circa 1535-45. Two men and two women stand around a table playing cards in a half-panelled room. At far left an older man, wearing a red hood and green tunic, points at his cards laid out on the table next to two piles of coins; he gurns at the young woman at right, who gazes directly at the viewer, smiling, holding up her cards, including an ace of hearts, whilst guarding her pile of coins with her other hand. At centre a young man wearing a doublet with deep maroon panels holds up his hand of cards whilst staring pensively at the viewer. An old woman places a hand on his shoulder and gazes down at his hand. Massys based the old man at left on a similar figure in a painting of tax collectors by his father, Quentin Massys (1466-1530), whom he trained under in Antwerp (Louvre, INV 1444/MR 821).
Acquired by Charles Wyndham, 2nd Earl of Egremont (1710 - 1763) at the Sir Robert Austin (c.1708 - 1772) sale on 10 January 1755 for £48.6; thence by descent, until the death in 1952 of the 3rd Lord Leconfield, who had given Petworth to the National Trust in 1947, and whose nephew and heir, John Wyndham, 6th Lord Leconfield and 1st Lord Egremont (1920-72) arranged for the acceptance of the major portion of the collections at Petworth in lieu of death duties (the first ever such arrangement) in 1956 by HM Treasury.
Marks and inscriptions
Bottom right: 47
Makers and roles
Jan Massys (Antwerp c.1509 - Antwerp 1575) , artist previously catalogued as by Quinten Metsys (Louvain 1466 - Antwerp 1530) , artist previously catalogued as possibly Jan Sanders van Hemessen (Hemiksem c. 1500 - Haarlem 1566), artist
Waagen 1854-7: Gustav Waagen, Treasures of Art in Great Britain, 3 vols. (translated by Lady Eastlake) with a supplementary volume: Galleries and Cabinets of Art in Great Britain, London, 1854-7, vol.iii, p.35 Collins Baker 1920 C.H.Collins Baker, Catalogue of the Petworth Collection of Pictures, in the possession of Lord Leconfield, privately printed by the Medici Society, London, 1920, no. 47 Loan Exhibition of Pictures and Work of Art from Petworth House, Wildenstein, London, 1954, p. 18 Remastered - Bosch to Bellotto: An Exhibition of Petworth's European Old Masters (exh cat) (Andrew Loukes) Petworth House, West Sussex, 9 January - 6 March 2016, cat. 20, p. 14