Georges de La Tour - The Cheat

The Cheat - 1650 Musée du Louvre

The Cheat - 1650
Musée du Louvre

Also known as The Cheat with the Ace of Diamonds. Two versions of the painting circa 1630 and 1635. The version I have placed Santa in is from the Louvre. The other version is in the Kimbell Art Museum, Fort Worth Texas. The Texas version is called The Cheat with the Ace of clubs because in the second version he changed the suit of the cheat card from a diamond to a club. This painting is a direct reference to The Cardsharps by Caravaggio (see blog post Dec 7). De La Tour was one of about 50 artists who showed there admiration for Caravaggio by copying this work of art.
In 1934, the Cheat was featured in the memorable exhibition of the Painters of Reality that brought French 17th-century painting back to glory and marked the revival of Georges de La Tour. This sparked a growing craze for the artist and the corpus of his works broadened. To see the original:

Ed Wheeler

Santa Classics, 2601 Pennsylvania Ave, Apt 712, Philadelphia, PA 19130