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in Medieval European Paintings
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The Chess Players
c. 1670
Oil on canvas, 97,5 x 85 cm
Museum of Fine Arts, Budapest

by Cornelis de Man, Dutch painter (b. 1621, Delft, d. 1706, Delft)

The genre painting of the later period of the 17th century is well represented by Cornelis de Man.

In this picture we see a homely room in which a well-groomed gentleman and an elegantly gowned lady are playing chess. The cat, logs, and bellows near the hearth all contribute to the atmosphere of pleasant domesticity which is somewhat marred by the man's affected gestures and the woman's backward glance at the onlooker. The placing of the hands and figures is rather artificial in its ingenuity but the painting of the curtains and the other fabrics is superbly realistic