Shulers - Caravaggio. Oil on Canvas, 90x112 cm
The great Caravaggio is great in the small - in his genre picture "Cheaters", two scammers beat a simple-minded, inexperienced young man in a card game, one of the varieties of poker. An elderly cheater stands behind the youth absorbed in the game, peeps at his cards and gives conventional signs to his young accomplice. The hand of the accomplice behind him, he is preparing to pull out a pre-prepared card from his pantaloons according to the secret sign of the accomplice.
The gloves of the senior fraudster look strange - the tips are cut off on them in order to better feel the marked cards. Both fraudsters are dressed in colorful suits with many small details and patterns, on the belts - short knives, on their heads - hats with bright feathers. On the face of a young sharpie is an expression of innocence and even slight stupidity. Everything has been done to distract the attention of the boy playing with fraudsters from the "backstage" tricks.
Many artists of the Caravaggio era turned in their paintings to the plot of fraud and cheating, depicted the city bottom in all its manifestations and “nudity,” in every possible way exposed the ulcers of society. On the canvas of the great Italian is rather brilliantly presented fiction, calm narration (not without aesthetic admiration) and, as always, a realistic effect of presence. Let us recall, finally, that the great artist himself led a "tumultuous" lifestyle, got involved in fights and scandals, and more than once fought a duel. It turns out that he knew well what he was writing about ...