Famous Artists and Chess by Bill Wall

Some of the greatest artists used chess as their subject in their paintings and sculpture.  Marcel Duchamp (1887-1968) is perhaps the most well-known artist and chess player.  He was a French chess master who played on the French chess Olympiad team and used chess themes in many of his paintings.  His chess paintings include “La Partie d’échecs” (The Chess Game) in 1910, “Portrait de joueurs d’échecs” (Portrait of a Chess Player) in 1911, “Joeurs d’échecs  (1911), “Study for Chess Players” (1911), and “King and Queen Surrounded by Swift Nudes” (1912).  His chess paintings hang in the Museum of Art in Philadelphia and the Guggenheim Museum in New York.  Duchamp once said, “While all artists are not chess players, all chess players are artists.”

Sir Lawrence Alma-Tadema (1836-1912) was one the most renowned painters of the late 19th century Britain, specializing in Greco-Roman genre subjects.  He was one of the finest and most distinctive of the Victorian painters.  In 1865, he painted “Egyptian Chess Players,” which he sold in Berlin to a Moscow banker.

Irving Amen (1918-   ) is known as a master printmaker.  He has produced thousands of woodcuts, etchings, lithographs and silk screens.  Some of the titles of his chess works include Chess Game (1977), Chess Strategy, Two Chess Games, Duel, Chess Board, Chess Players, End Game, Expresso, Game of Kings, and Next Move.

Sir Alfred Charles Stanley Anderson (1884-1966) was an English Painter who started out as a heraldic engraver.  His 1932 painting, “In Check: Scene at  A London Eating-House” hangs in the Smithsonian American Art Museum.

Sofonisba Anguissola (1528-1625) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance and trained by Giulio Campi and Bernardino Gatti.  Her father was a member of the Genoese minor mobility. She was most famous for her fresh and finely handled portraits.   Her 1555 “Le Giocatrici de Scacci” (Artist’s Sisters Playing Chess) painting hangs in the Muzeum Narodowe w Poznaniu (National Museum in Pozan, Poland).  The painting shows Anguissola’s three sisters (Lucia, Minerva, and Europa) playing chess, with the old servant lady looking on.

Evgenia Petrovna Antipova (1917-2009) was a Soviet painter, watercolorist, graphic artist, and art teacher.  In 1980, she painted “Boys in the Garden,” depicting two boys playing chess in a garden.

Jose Jimenez Y Aranda (1837-1903) was a Spanish painter born in Seville, Spain.  He was an accomplished painter of genre, chiefly of scenes in high life.  In 1883 he painted “An Afternoon at Seville” featuring two chess players playing a game of chess and watched by some kibitzers.  In 1899, he painted “The Chess Party.”

Jose Gallegos y Arnosa (1857-1917), was a Spanish painter.  He painted “A Game of chess,” depicting some cardinals playing chess.

Giuseppe Aureli (1858-1929) was an Italian artist.  He painted “Una partita difficile a scacchi.”  It depicts two priests playing chess as a lady watches.

Minas Avetisyan (1928-1975) was an Armenian painter.  In 1971, he painted “Chess Players,” which was later destroyed by fire.  In 1972, his studio caught fire and many of his paintings burned.  Some of the burned pictures were later reproduced from photographs taken earlier.

Samuel Bak (1933-   ) was born in Vilna, Poland (now Vilnius, Lithuania) and survived the Holocaust.   The theme of chess appears in many of his paintings, such as “Board Meeting,” “Luna, “ and “Quite Clear” (2000).

Wladyslaw Bakalowicz (1833-1903) was a Polish painter.  He studied at the Warsaw School of Fine Arts, then relocated to Paris.  In 1876, he painted “Louis XIII Inviting Richelieu to a Game of Chess.”

Max Barascudts (1869-1927) was a German painter.  He painted “Head-to-head: A Game of Chess,” depicting two men playing chess.  He painted “An Interesting Game,” depicting two cardinals playing chess.  In 1900, he painted “Cardinals Playing Chess.”

Charles Bargue (1826-1883) was a French lithographer and painter.  He is mostly remembered  as the creator of a classical drawing course.  One of his paintings from 1880 is entitled, “Le jeu d’échecs” or “Die Schachspieler (The Chess Game, also known as Playing Chess on the Terrace), a very nice oil painting depicting two French chess players with a kibitzer looking on.  His chess painting was his last work.  Bargue died of starvation at a charitable institution.  The painting was later owned by Mrs. William H. Vanderbilt of New York.

Victor Barthe (1887-1954) was a Russian painter.  In 1936, he painted “Paulo Boi and the Devil.”

Lubin Baugin (c. 1612-1663) was a French painter.  Around 1630 he painted “Nature morte a l’echquier ou Allegorie des cinq sens” (Still Life with Chessboard or an Allegory of the Five Senses) which hangs in the Louvre.  It features a black and white chess board with seven other objects.

Willi Baumeister (1889-1955) was a German impressionist  and cubist painter, scenic designer, typographer, and art professor.  In 1924, he painted “Schachspieler III” (Chess Players III).  In 1925, he painted “Schach” (Chess).  When the Nazis came to power, he was dismissed as an art professor.  His paintings and exhibitions were banned.  His house in Stuttgart was destroyed in a bomb attack.

Carl Becker (1820-1900) was a German history painter and was president of the Prussian Academy of Sciences.  His 1892 painting, “Franz, Adelheid, and the Bishop of Bamberg” hangs in the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.  It is a scene in Goethe’s play where Adelheid and the Bishop of Bamberg play chess.

Francesco Beda (1840-1900) was an Italian Academic Classical artist.  In 1880 he painted “Partita a scacchi” (The Chess Game).

Robert Bereny (1887-1953) was a Hungarian painter who introduced cubism and expressionism to Hungarian art.  During the last year of World War 2, his workshop was destroyed, together with many of his paintings.  He painted “Woman with Chess-Board,” depicting a woman reading with a chess board in front of her

David Joseph Bles (1821-1899) was a Dutch oil painter.  He painted “Chess Players” which was stolen from a museum in 2000.

Ron Blumberg (1908-2002) was trained at the Grande Academie Chaumiere in Paris and worked at the National Academy of Design in New York.  In 1958, he painted “Chess Game in the Park.”

Lockhart Bogle (?-1950) was a British painter.  He painted “A Game of Chess,” depicting chess in a café.

Louis-Leopold Boilly (1761-1845) was a French painter and printmaker who painted scenes from the French middle-class social life of his time.  He painted scenes of players playing checkers, chess, and billiards.  One of his paintings was called “The Chess Game.”   During his lifetime, he drew over 5,00 portraits and 500 genres.

Paris Bordone (1495-1571) was a Venetian painter of the Renaissance and was trained by Titian.  In 1555 he painted “Partita a Scacchi” (The Chess Players) which hangs in the Staatliche Museen in Berlin.  The painting is also known as “Two Chess Players.”  Most of his other works are now gone.  He was an excellent painter in the Venetian tradition.  His most famous painting may be “Daphnis and Chloe,” which is in the National Gallery in London.

Norah Borges (1901-1998) was an Argentine artist and the sister of writer Jorge Luis Borges.  Both were chess players.  In 1922, she painted “Ajedrez.”

Bernard Louis Borione (1865- ?) was a French painter.  In 1906, he painted “A Game of Chess,” depicting a Catholic Cardinal playing chess.

Francois Boucher (1703-1770) was a French painter known for his idyllic and voluptuous paintings on classical themes.  He was perhaps the most celebrated decorative artist of the 18th century.  He painted “Les Échecs” (Chess).  He was a popular exponent of the Rococo style of painting in France.  He became the most sought-after painter of his day, winning considerable personal fortune.  In 1765, he was director of the Academy and was first painter to the king of France.  He was perhaps the first to exhibit publically and to sell drawing studies.  Many of his paintings are in the Louvre.

Robert Bolling Brandegee (1848-1922) was an American painter.  In 1890, he painted “The Chess Players.”   It features a man and a woman engrossed in a game of chess.

Georges Braque (1882-1963) was a major 20th century French painter and sculptor who, along with Pablo Picasso, developed the art movement known as Analytical Cubism.  In 1942, he painted “La Patience” which depicted a chess board.

Antonio Bresciani (1902-1977) was an Italian painter.  In 1977 he painted “Gioco de scacchi” (Game of chess).

Frederick Arthur Bridgman (1847-1928) was an American artist and became known as one of the world’s most talented “Orientalist” painters.  In 1881, he painted “An Interesting Game,” which hangs in the Brooklyn Museum.

Henri Brispot (1846-1928) was a French painter.   In 1881, he painted “The Game of Chess,” depicting two cardinals playing chess as two others watch.

Lucy Madox Brown (1843-1894) was a British painter.  In 1871, she painted “Ferdinand and Miranda Playing Chess,” depicting a scene from Shakespeare’s The Tempest.

Margaret Fitzhugh Browne (1884-1972) was a painter of portraits, indoor genre scenes, and still lifes.  She authored Portrait Painting in 1933.  She painted “The Chess Player,” which was purchased by the Springfield, Illinois Art Association.

Vaclav Brozik (1851-1901) was a Czech academic painter.  In 1880, he painted “Dagmar and Strange Ebbesen at the Chess Table.”

Lajos Bruck (1846-1910) was a Hungarian painter.  He painted “The Chess Game.”  It depicts an interior scene of a gentleman and a lady playing chess.

Szymon Buchbinder (1853-1908) was a Polish painter.  He painted “Partia Szachow” (Game of Chess).

Bernard Buffet (1928-1999) was a French painter of Expressionism.  He produced religious pieces, landscapes, portraits and still-lifes.  In 1955, he was awarded first prize by Connaissnace des arts, which names the 10 best post-war artists.   In 1955, he painted “Chess,” depicting a chess and checker and backgammon set.    He created over 8,000 paintings.  In 1999, at the age of 71, he committed suicide after putting his head in a plastic bag attached around his neck with tape.

Giulio Campi (1508-1573) was an Italian painter and architect.  In 1550, he painted “La Partita a Scacchi” (A Game of Chess) which hangs in the Musei Civici Arte Moderne in Turin (Torino), Italy.

Henri Caro-Delvaille (1860-1943) was a French painter.  In 1904, he painted “Ma Femme et Ses Souers” (My Wife and her Sisters), depicting a game of chess between two ladies.

Louis-Robert Carrier-Belleuse (1848-1913) was a French painter and sculptor.   He painted “Jouers d’echecs” (Chess Players).

Ludovico Carracci (1555-1619) was an Italian, early-Baroque painter, etcher, and printmaker.  In 1590, he painted “I Giocatori di Scacchi,” (the two chess players) which hangs in the Gemaldegalerie art museum in Berlin.

Ture Nikolaus Cederstrom (1843-1924) was a Swedish painter who lived in Munich for most of his life.  He painted genre scenes, most of which concerned the life of monks and priests.  He painted “The Chess Players,” depicting a monk and a priest playing chess, as two other monks watch.

Stanislaw von Chlebowski (1835-1884) was a Polish painter and was a renowned specialist in oriental themes.  He painted “Chess Players.”

Paul Charles Chocarne-Moreau (1855-1931) was a French painter.  He usually painted scenes of children at play.  He painted “Une Bonne Lecon” (A Good Lesson).

Daniel Niklaus Chodowiecki (1726-1801) was a Polish-German painter and printmaker, who is most famous as an etcher.  He spent most of his life in Berlin, and became director of the Berlin Academy of Arts.  He became the most famous German graphic artist of his time.  In the 1790s, he engraved “Education,” depicting a man and a woman and a child sitting around a chess table.

Nicolai Cikovsky (1894-1987) was a Russian painter who left Russia in 1923 and settle in New York City.  He painted, “Chess” with two men playing chess, and another man watching.  The chess board was set up wrong (black square was to the right).

Joseph Clark (1834-1926) was a British painter that captured the spirit of Victorian England.  In 1860, he painted “The Chess Players,” which was first exhibited at the Royal Academy in London.  In 1876, he painted “Checkmate.”

James Cook (1904-1960) was a New Zealander painter.  In 1958, he painted “The Chess Players,” depicting two men playing chess as another man watches from the side.

Richard Creifelds (1853-1939) was an American painter.  In 1886, he painted “The Veterans” which is in the Brooklyn Museum but not on view.  It depicts two older men playing chess, and another older man standing and watching.

Girolamo da Cremona (fl. 1451-1483) was an Italian Renaissance painter, illuminator and miniaturist of manuscripts and early printed books.  He painted Partita a scacchii” (Game of Chess) around 1480, which hangs in the New York Metropolitan Museum.

Douglass Crockwell (1904-1968) was an American illustrator specializing in advertising illustration.  His illustrations come close to Norman Rockwell paintings.  He had incredible realism and was one of the most popular atists of the 1940s and 1950s.  He illustrated for Welch’s Graphe Juice, Republic Steel, GE, Friskies, Bell Telephone, Camel cigarettes,S.O.S. DeSoto,  Coca-Cola, and others.  His longest ad campaign was for the Brewing Industry Association.  In 1955, he created a “Check” chess beer ale ad.  It depicts and man and a woman playing chess with two beer glasses on the table.  The caption reads, “In this friendly, freedom-loving land of ours…Beer Belongs-Enjoy It.”   Many of his illustrations appeared on the cover of The Saturday Evening Post.

George Cruikshank (1792-1878) was a British caricaturist and book illustrator. He was primarily known for his vivid political cartoons and his many book illustrations.   In 1835, he sketched in color “Game of Chess” for the publishing house H. Humphrey.  He did the illustrations for Dickens’ Oliver Twist.

Richard Dadd (1817-1886) was an English painter of the Victorian era. Most of his art work was done while he was incarcerated at the Bedlam psychiatric hospital.  After a trip to Egypt in 1842, Dadd underwent a dramatic personality change, becoming delusional and increasingly violent.  He believed he was under the influence of the Egyptian god Osiris.  In 1843, he thought his father was the Devil in disguise, so he killed his father with a knife.   He fled to France where he tried to kill a tourist with a razor, but was overpowered and arrested by the police.  He was committed to the criminal department of Bedlam hospital.  In 1857, he painted “The Child’s Problem.”  The title refers to a position on the chess board which was considered simple enough to have been set by a child.

Augusto Daini (1860-1920) was an Italian painter.  He painted “Scacco Matto,” depicting a cardinal playing chess with a woman.

Salvador Dali (1904-1989) was a very prominent Spanish Catalan Surrealist painter.  In 1940, he painted “Two Pieces of Bread, Expressing the Sentiment of Love.”  It depicts some slices of bread, a few crumbs, and a chess pawn.  It painted it after playing a chess game with Marcel Duchamp.   He also designed chess sets with pieces modeled after his fingers and other objects.    The set later sold for over $23,000.

Josef Danhauser (1805-1845) was an Austrian painter who worked mostly in Vienna.  In 1839, he painted “Game of Chess,” depicting a Hungarian noble woman and a banker playing chess with several onlookers.

William Daniels (1813-1880) was known as the Rembrandt of Liverpool.  He painted “The Chess Players.”  It depicts a warehouseman named Mr. Breeze playing chess with his brother-in-law as Mrs. Breeze brings in some refreshments.

Honoré Daumier (1808-1879) was a French printmaker, caricaturist, painter, and sculptor.  He produced over 4,000 lithographic plates.  He spent 6 months in prison because of a cartoon, Gargantua, which was an attack on Louis Philippe.  In 1865, he painted “Les Joueurs d’échecs” (The chess players), which hangs in the Musee du Petit-Palais in Paris.  He also painted “Les Saltimbanques au repos” in 1865, which depicts two players playing chess.

Jan de Bray (1627-1697) was a Dutch painter.  His works are mainly portraits, often of groups.  In 1661, he sketched a young man (possible a self-portrait) sitting with chessmen on top of a Courier chess board.

Cornelis de Man (1621-1706) was a Dutch Golden Age painter.  In 1670, he painted “The Chess Players.”  It is a painting of a man and a woman playing chess.  The painting hangs in the Museum of Fine Arts (Szepmuveszeti Muzeum) in Budapest, Hungary.

Ferdinand Victor Eugene Delacroix (1798-1863) was a French Romantic artist and a leader of the French Romantic School.  He was born into an important French family and may have been the son of Talleyrand, whom he resembled. He was the most original muralist of the 19th century.   In July 1847, he painted “Arabs Playing Chess.”  The painting hangs in the National Gallery in Edinburgh, Scotland.  Delacroix visited North Africa in 1832 and he remembered the scene of Arabs playing chess in the streets.  Delacroix said he used “baby’s eyelashes” to paint “Arabs Playing Chess.”

Louis Jean Desprez (1743-1804) was a French painter and architect who later moved to Sweden.  He etched “When is this game going to end?”  It was a French drawing about Louis Philippe against the Republic that appeared in La Caricature.

Ludwig Deutsch (1855-1935) was an Austrian-born French Academic painter who painted “The Chess Game” in 1896.  It depicts two Muslim players at a game of chess.

William Draper (1912-2003) was a portrait painter and former combat artist.  He drew the portraits of President Richard M. Nixon, John F. Kennedy, the Shah of Iran, Cardinal Cooke, financier Paul Mellon, Admiral Halsey, Admiral Nimitz, James Michener, and others.   He painted “Chess by Lamplight,” depicting chess during World War II being played in a tent.  He painted “Wild Emotion,” depicting a chess set, and in 1947, he painted “Strangers at Chess.”

Werner Drewes (1899-1985) was a German-American painter and printmaker.  He was a member of the German Bauhaus until Hitler closed the Bauhaus in 1933.  The Nazis were intolerable to abstract artists.  Drewes left Germany and emigrated to New York City.  He taught at the Brooklyn Museum and Columbia University.  In 1937, he was a founding member of the American Abstract Artists group, the firs formal organization in the U.S. devoted to the creation of non-objective art.

Guy Pene du Bois (1884-1958) was an early 20th century American painter who specialized in the culture and society around him.  He was known for his satirical genre, especially of high society.  In 1950, he painted “Chess Tables, Washington Square.” 

Thomas Eakins (1844-1916) was an American realist painter, photographer, and sculptor.  He is considered one of the most important artists in American history. He was an art instructor at the Pennsylvania Academy until he was forced to resign because of a scandal from posing a nude male model before a mixed class.   In 1876, he painted “The Chess Players” on a wooden board, not on canvas.  It shows the artist’s father, Benjamin, watching two friends (Bertrand Gardel and George Holmes) play chess at the Eakins home in Philadelphia.    The work was first exhibited at the Centennial Exhibition in Philadelphia in 1876 and now hangs in the Metropolitan Art Museum in New York.  The painting was given to the Metropolitan Museum in 1881.  It was the first gift the art museum accepted from a living artist.

Henry Edridge (1768-1821) was an English landscape artist who became proficient as a painter of miniatures, portraits and landscapes.  In 1810, he painted “Chess Player.”

Charles Loring Elliott (1812-1868) was an American portrait painter born in New York.   He was considered the best portraitist of his day, specializing in bust portraits.  In July 1859, he painted a portrait of Paul Morphy in his New York studio.  The picture hung in the Manhattan Chess Club from 1884 to 2002.

Jehudo Epstein (1870-1946) was a Polish painter.  In 1892, he painted “The Chess Game,” also known as “Jews Playing Chess.”

Rudolph Ernst (1854-1932) was an Austrian Orientalist artist.  He painted “The Chess Game.”

Maurits Cornelis Escher (1898-1972) was a Dutch graphic artist, known for his impossible constructions and images, morphing drawings, and infinite loops.  He took advantage of quirks of perceptions and perspective.  He drew “Paradoxical Chess.”  In 1939-40, he drew “Metamorphosis II” in which a tower in water is a rook piece, with other chess pieces in the water, and the water becomes a chess board.

Merlyn Evans (1910-1973) was a Welsh surrealist painter.  In 1951, he painted “The Chess Players,” which hangs in the Tate Gallery in London.

Hans Eworth (1520-1574) was a Flemish painter active in England in the mid-16th century.  In 1568, he painted “Windsor Family Play Chess.”

Antti Faven (1882-1948) was a Finnish painter.  He painted “Chess” which portrays Tarrasch, Marshall, Janowski, Burn, and Bernstein.

Riccardo Tommasi Ferroni (1934-2000) was an Italian painter and one of the greatest exponents of figurative painting of the 20th century.  In 1986, he painted “A Game of Chess,” depicting two chess players, perhaps at an art studio, playing chess, as another person looks on.

Benjamin Eugene Fichel (1826-1895) was a French painter of historical scenes, portraits and landscapes.  He painted several works depicting chess, including “Two Men Playing Chess” (1860), “The Chess Game” (1881), “The Chess Game #2” (1882), and “The Chess Players.”

Samuel Melton Fisher (1860-1939) was a British painter.  In 1903, he painted “The Chess Players,” depicting two ladies playing chess.

Edward Reginald Frampton (1870-1923) was an English painter who specialized in murals.  He painted “Miranda e Fernando Giocano a Scacchi” or “Ferdinand and Miranda, from The Tempest, Act V.”

Salvatore Frangiamore (1853-1915) was an Italian artist.  In 1912, he painted “Il Cardinale,” depicting a Catholic Cardinal playing chess with a lady.

Albert Joseph Franke (1860-1924) was a German painter.  He painted “Two Chess Players” and “Chess Players.”

Jakob Emanuel Gaisser (1825-1899) was a German painter.  In 1880, he painted “Une Table de Jeu Improvisee.”  He also painted “Musketeers Playing Chess.”

Giovanni Garinei (1846- ?) was an Italian painter.  Around 1880, he painted “Tocca a tè!” (It’s Your Move).

Jean-Leon Gerome (1824-1904) was a French painter and sculptor, known for his Academicism painting style of historical painting, Greek mythology, and Orientalism.  In 1859, he painted “Arnauts Playing Chess.”  In 1898, he painted “The Chess Players.”  In 1870, he painted “Almehs Jouant Aux Échecs au Cafe” (Almehs Playing Chess in a Café).  His chess paintings are part of the Wallace Collection in London.

Charles Dana Gibson (1867-1944) was an American graphic artist, best known for his creation of the Gibson Girl.   In 1903 he etched “The Greatest Game in the World: His Move,” which shows a young couple facing each other across a chess board.

Francesco di Giorgio Martin (1439-1502) was an Italian painter and sculptor.    He painted “Game of Chess” before 1500.  The painting is in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Duncan Grant (1885-1978) was a Scottish painter, known as a decorative designer.  In 1971, he painted “Nature Morte Avec Un Matisse,” perhaps depicting a chessboard.

Charles Green (1840-1898) was a British painter.  In 1874, he painted “A Game of Chess,” which is part of the John Noot Galleries.

Juan Gris (1887-1927) was a Spanish painter and sculptor who lived and worked in France most of his life.  His works are closely related to Cubism.  In 1917, he painted “El Tablero de Ajedrez” (The Chess Board).  The painting hangs in the Modern Art Museum in New York.

Alessandro Guardassoni (1819-1888) was an Italian painter.  In 1870, he painted “Autoritratto,” depicting two men playing chess and crowded with onlookers.

James Hamilton (1819-1878) was an Irish-born American painter.  He painted “A Game of Chess,” depicting a man and a woman playing chess.

Johann Hamza (1850-1927) was a Austrian painter of genre scenes and portraits.  In 1881, he painted “The Chess Players.”

Frederick Daniel Hardy (1827-1911) was an English genre painter.  In 1872, he painted “Checkmate,” depicting two men playing chess and a woman standing and watching the game.

Johann Peter Hasenclever (1810-1853), was a German portrait painter.  In 1851, he painted “Chess Players.”

Martin Hausle (1903-1966) was an Austrian painter whose work primarily consisted of graphic works and landscape paintings .  He painted “Schachspieler.”

Henri Hayden (1883-1970) was a Polish-born artist who later moved to Paris.  His first important painting was “The Chess Players at La Totonde,” which was displayed at the Salon des Independants in 1914.  In 1919, he painted “Still Life with Ace of Clubs and Chess Pieces.”

Rene Georges Hermann-Paul (1864-1940) was a French artist and well-known illustrator.  He etched “Les Joueses d’échecs,” (the chess players) depicting  two women playing chess and another lady watching.

Carl Herpfer (1836-1897) was a German portrait painter.  In 1887, he painted “The Chess Players,” which was first exhibited in Munich.

Johannes Hermanus van Heyden (1825-1907) was a Durch painter.  He painted “The Chess Game,” depicting a man and a woman playing chess by candle light as the rest of the family watches.

John Callcott Horsley (1817-1903) was a British narrative painter best known as the designer of the first Christmas card, created in 1843.  In 1862, he painted “Checkmate Next Move,” which appeared in the Illustrated London News.

Arthur Boyd Houghton (1836-1875), born in India, was a British painter, illustrator and caricaturist.  He is best known for his illustrations to Dalziel’s Arabian Nights.  He painted “The Brother and Sister of the Artist Playing Chess.”

Jean Huber (1721-1786) was born in Geneva and began his career as an artist producing silhouettes of landscapes and figures.  He later made his reputation as the portrait of Voltaire.  In 1775, he painted “Voltaire at a Chess Table,” which hangs in the Geneva Museum of Art and History.

Johann Erdmann Hummel (1769-1852) was a German painter.  In 1818, he painted “Die Schachpartie in Palais Voss.”  The painting portrays the sons of King Friedrich Wilhelm II playing chess and observed by friends and the painter himself.

John Newton Hyde (1846-1927) was an American painter.  In 1871, he sketched “Mate in One Move,” which first appeared in Frank Leslie’s Illustrated Newspaper.

Jerome (Gerolamo) Induno (1825-1890) was an Italian painter.  In 1881, he painted, “La Partita a Scacchi,” (A Game of Chess) which is exhibited in the Galleria d’Arte Moderna in Milan, Italy.  It is also known as “Fernando and Iolanda Playing Chess.”

John B. Irving (1826-1879) was an American painter.  In 1872, he painted “The End of the Game,” depicting one player being stabbed by a sword by another player over a chess game.  The painting was exhibited at the 1876 Centennial Exposition in Philadelphia, but has since disappeared.

Moritz Jung (1885-1915) was born in Moravia and became an Austrian printmaker.  In 1911, he painted “Wiener Café: Die Schachspieler.”

Wassily Kandinsky (1866-1944) was a Russian painter and non-objective art theorist.  He is credited with painting the first modern abstract works.  In 1937, he painted “Schach-Theorie.”

George Goodwin Kilburne (1839-1924) was an English genre painter specializing in accurate drawn interiors with figures.  He painted, “A Game of Chess,” also called “A Hopeless Case,”depicting a lady and a man playing chess.

Reimond Kimpe (1885-1970) was a Flemish-Dutch painter.  He began his career as a civil engineer.  After World War I, he was sentenced to death for his membership of the Council of Flanders.  He escaped from Belgium and fled to the Netherlands.  In 1923, he became ill and abandoned his work as an engineer.  While in recovery, he became a painter.  During World War II, his studio was bombed and over 200 of his paintings were destroyed.  In 1960, he painted “De Zusjes,” depicting two lady figures in blue playing chess.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880-1938) was a German expressionist painter and printmaker.   In 1913, he painted “Erich Heckel and Otto Mueller Playing Chess.”  He was branded a “degenerate” by the Nazis.  In 1947, over 600 of his works were sold or destroyed.  In 1938, he committed suicide at the age of 58.

Paul Klee (1879-1940) was a Swiss and German painter, influenced by expressionism, cubism, and surrealism.  In 1931, he painted “The Great Chess Game” which is exhibited in the Kunstmuseum in Zurich, Switzerland.  In 1937, he painted “Super Chess.”

Josef Arpad Koppay (1857-1927) was an Austria-Hungarian painter.  He painted “In Gedanken,” depicting a chess game in the background between two players.

Rudolf Koselitz (1861-1948) was a German painter.  In 1910, he painted “Schachspieler” (Chessplayer).

Albert Kotin (1907-1980) was an American Abstract Expressionist painter.   He painted, “Chess Player.”

Andrea Landini (1847-1935) was an Italian painter.  He concentrated on portrait painting, gaining a considerable reputation and numerous commissions amongst Florentine society.  He painted “Indecisione,” depicting a cardinal and an aristocrat playing chess.

Hans August Lassen (1857-1927) was a German painter.  In 1885, he painted “Drei Junge Herren Beim Schach” (Three Young Men Playing Chess).  In 1900, he painted “Drei Herren Beim Schach.”  He also painted “Vier Offiziere Beim Spiel.”

John Lavery (1856-1941) was an Irish painter best known for his portraits.  In 1929, he painted “The Chess Players,” which hangs in the Tate Gallery in London.  It depicts two children playing chess.

Jacob Lawrence (1917-2000) was an American painter whose style was called “dynamic cubism.”  He was among the best-known 20th century African-American painters.  In 1970, he settled in Seattle and became an art professor at the University of Washington.  In 1970, he painted “Chess Players.”  In 1996, he painted “Two Builders Playing chess.”

Adolphe Alexandre Lesrel (1839-1929) was a French painter who painted in a highly detailed and finished style.   In 1898, he painted “An Interesting Game.”  In 1910, he painted “The Chess Players.”

Lucas Jacobsz van Leyden (1494-1533) was a Dutch engraver, painter and wood carver.  His real name was Lucas Hiighensz.  He is generally regarded as one of the finest engravers in the history of art.  174 engravings are known by him.  In 1508, he painted “Partita a scacchi” (Chess Players) when he was only 14 years old.   He painted the 8 by 12 courier chess board in his scene.  The painting is also known as “The Chess Match,” “A Game of Chess” and “Chess Party.”   He died at the age of 39.  The painting is in the Staatiche (Gemaldegalerie) art museum in Berlin, Germany.   It used to be housed in the Koniglihes Museum in Berlin.  In 1945, Hitler ordered the painting be sent to safety outside of Berlin.  A few months later, General Patton’s army found the painting in a salt mine.  The painting was then sent to the National Gallery of Art in Washington.  In 1948, the painting was returned to Germany.

Rene Magritte (1898-1967) was a Belgian surrealist artist.  In 1926, he painted “Échecs et Mat.”

Allan Douglass Mainds (1881-1945) was a British painter.  In 1931, he painted “A Lesson in Chess,” depicting a mother and daughter playing chess.

Konstantin Makovsky (1839-1915) was an influential Russian painter.  He painted “The Death of Ivan the Terrible,” which depicts Ivan the Terrible dying by his chess board.

Salvatore Maldarelli (1866-1935) was an Italian painter.   In 1897, he painted “Partita a Scacchi,” depicting two ladies playing chess

Karel van Mander (1548-1606) was a Flemish-born Dutch painter.  In 1603, he painted “Ben Jonson and William Shakespeare Playing at Chess.”  The painting is part of the private collection of Frank de Heymann of New York.

Louis Marcoussis (Ludwig Casimir Ladislas Markus) (1878-1941) was a painter and engraver of Polish origin who lived in Paris for much of his life.  He drew cartoons for satirical journals.  Impressionism influenced his early paintings, but later became part of the Cubist movement.  In 1912, he painted “Still Life with a Chess Board.”

Artur Markowicz (1872-1934) was a Polish painter of Jewish origin.  In 1926, he painted “Gra w szachy,” (Chess Players), depicting two old Jewish players playing chess.

Jean-Henri Marlet (1771-1847) was a French painter.  In 1843, he painted “The Game of Chess,” which depicted Howard Staunton playing chess with Pierre Charles Fournier de Saint Amant at the Café de la Régence in Paris.  Marlet and Saint Amant were good friends.

Frank Mason (1921-2009) was a New York realist painter.  He painted “The Chess Game,” depicting two chess players playing chess in an art studio.

Henri Matisse (1869-1954) was a French artist and a leading figure in modern art.  He painted several paintings with chess themes, including  “La Famille du Peintre” (The Painter’s Family) in 1911, “Femme a Cote d’un Echiquier” in 1928, and “Odalisques” in 1928.  In 2009, Sophie Matisse, great-granddaughter of Henri, sponsored “The Art of the Game” exhibition, which featured uniquely painted chess sets.

Edward Harrison May (1824-1887) was a British painter.  In 1867, he painted “Lady Howe Mating Benjamin Franklin.”  The painting hangs in the Yale University Art Gallery in New Haven, Connecticut.

Walter McEwen (1860-1943) was an American painter.  In 1900, he painted “The Chess Players,” depicting two ladies playing chess.

Dorothy Mead (1928-1975) was a British painter.  In 1958, she painted “Chessboard,” which hangs in the Tate Gallery in London.

Israhel van Meckenem (1445-1503) was a German printmaker and goldsmith.  He was the most prolific engraver of the 15th century.  He engraved in copper “Death Playing Chess with a King.”

Jean-Louis Ernest Meissonier (1815-1891) was a French Classicist painter and sculptor.  In 1836, he exhibited “Chess Player” in the Salon, the official art exhibition of the Academie des Beaux-Arts in Paris.    He painted “The Chess Players” in 1858 and “The Chess Players #2” in 1863.

Adolph Menzel (1815-1905) was a German artist noted for his drawings, etchings, and paintings.  In 1863, he painted “A Game of Chess.”  It was his first painting in oil.  It is now displayed at the Lanesmuseum in Hanover, Germany.

Jean Metzinger (1883-1956) was a French painter, influenced by Fauvism, Impressionism, and Cubism.  In 1916 he painted, “Le Soldat a la partie d’échecs” (Soldier at a Game of Chess).  It is now displayed at the University Museum of Art in Chicago.

Hans Mielich (Muelich) (1516-1573) was a German painter and illuminator of the late Renaissance.  He was a leading painter in Munich of religious compositions, manuscripts illuminations and portraits.  In 1552, he painted “Albrecht and Anna Playing Chess.”  It depicts Duke Albert V (1528-1579) of Bavaria and his wife Anna of Austria playing chess.

Louis Charles Moeller (1855-1930) was an American painter.  He painted “Cronies,” depicting two older gentlemen playing chess and a third man kibitzing on the side.

Otto Moeller (1883-1964) was a German painter.  In 1922, he painted “Chessplayers.”

Anthonis Mor (1519-1576) was a Netherlands portrait painter.  In 1549, he painted “Von Sachsen Playing Chess with a Spanish Nobleman.”

Jean-Michel Moreau (1741-1814), also called Moreau le Jeune (Moreau the Younger), was a French draughtsman, illustrator and engraver.  He was named Designer to the King in 1770 and Designer and Engraver to the King in 1781.  In 1782 he drew a scene where John Lackland, king of England, receives a delegation of French envoys while playing chess.

M. Adrien Moreau (1843-1906) was a French painter, sculptor and illustrator whose work fell into the class of historical genre.  His art studio in Paris was destroyed by an explosion during the Franco-Prussian war of 1870-71.  He painted “Partie d’echecs” (Game of Chess).

Henry Siddons Mowbray (1858-1928) was born in Alexandria, Egypt, raised in Massachusetts, and worked in Paris and Spain.  He painted “Repose, A Game of Chess.”   It depicts two girls playing chess.

William James Mueller (1812-1845), born in Bristol, England, was the son of a Prussian refugee.  He was considered one of the greatest painters of the English landscape, but best known for paintings of the Middle East.  He later became curator of the Bristol Museum.  He painted “The Chess Players at Cairo.”  In 1874, the painting sold for $20,260 in London.

Luigi Mussini (1813-1888) was an Italian painter and director of the Academy of Fine Arts at Sienna.  In 1882 he painted “Una Sfida Scacchistica alla Corte del Re di Spagna” (A Chess Match at the Court of the King of Spain).  The painting depicts Leonardo di Cutri playing Ruy Lopez at the Court of Philip II.

David Dalhoff Neal (1838-1915) was an American artist.  In 1892, he painted “The Sultan Saladin and his Sister Sittah.”  It depicts a chess board and set in the middle of the painting.

Willi Neubert (1920-    ) is a German painter, known for his large-format murals.  In 1964, he painted “Schachspieler” (Chessplayer), depicting a man smoking a cigarette and studying a chess position.

James Northcote (1746-1831) was an English painter.  He was a full academician at the Royal Academy of Arts in London.  In 1807, he exhibited “Chess Players: Portraits” at the Royal Academy.  The painting was sold by Lady Vaux of Harrowdean in 1917.

John Opie (1761-1907) was a British historical portrait painter.    He painted “Boys Playing at Chess.”

Moritz Daniel Oppenheim (1800-1882) was a German painter who is regarded as the first Jewish painter of the modern era.  In 1856, he painted “Lavater and Lessing visit Moses Mendelssohn.”    The painting portrays an imagined meeting of Moses Mendelsohn , Gotthold Lessing and Johann Lavater with a chess table in the library.  Another painting with a chess theme that he did was “The Kindling of the Hanukkah Lights” in 1880.

Max Oppenheimer (1885-1954), a native of Vienna, later went to Prague and was one of the first Czech avant-garde artists.  He painted “Die Schachpartie.”  In 1942, he painted “Chess with Emanuel Lasker.”  He was also known as Maximilian Mopp.

William Quiller Orchardson (1832-1910) was a noted Scottish portraitist and painter of domestic and historical subjects.   In 1875, he painted “Mrs. Charles Moxon,” which has her seated behind a chess board.  The painting is now part of the Tate Collection in England.

Antal Peczely (1891-1944) was a Hungarian painter.  He painted “Arabs Playing Chess.”

Pierre Henri Picou (1824-1895) was a French painter.  In 1876, he painted “Indian Chess.”

Albertus Pictor (Albert the Painter) (1440-1507) is the most famous late medieval Swedish painter, known for his wallpaintings and frescoes in Sweden.  He painted “Death Playing Chess,” an allegorical fresco at a church in Taby, Sweden.  The fresco inspired the famous scene in Ingmar Bergman’s 1957 film The Seventh Seal, in which a knight plays chess with Death.

Henry Varnum Poor (1888-1970) was an American painter, architect, sculptor, muralist, and potter.  In 1939, he painted “The Chess Game.”

Gerard Portielje (1856-1929) was a Belgian painter.  He painted “Avec le Jeu D’Échecs.”  It depicts two men playing chess and another man watching from the side.

Hildur Nilsen Prahl (1855-1940) was a Norwegian painter.  In 1885, he painted “Checkmate in 3 Moves.”  It depicts two men playing chess and another man standing and watching.

Alois Heinrich Priechenfried (1867-1953) was an Austrian painter.  In 1902, he painted “Beim Schachspiel.”

Carl Probst (1854-1924) was an Austrian painter.  In 1902, he painted “The Chess Match,” depicting two children playing chess.

Raffaello Sanzio da Urbino, better known as Raphael (1483-1520), was one of the greatest Italian painters and architects of the Renaissance period.  He may not have painted any chess pictures, but his painting “St. Michael,” which hangs in the Louvre, was painted for Duke Guidobaldo da Montefeltro on the back of a chess board.

Johann Baptist Raunacher (1705-1757) was an Austrian painter.  In 1755, he painted “Eine Schachpartie.”  The board is set up wrong, with the dark-colored square to the right of the player.

Man Ray (1890-1976) was an American artist.  He was described as a modernist, contributing to the Dada and Surrealist movements.  He designed chess pieces out of silver-plated and oxidized silver-plated brass in the 1920s.  He was a chess-playing partner of Marcel Duchamp.

Moritz August Retzsch (1779-1857) was a German painter, draughtsman, and etcher.  In 1831, he painted  Die Schachspieler” (the Chess Player), or “Man vs. Mephistopheles.”   It depicted Satan playing chess with Man as a guardian angel watches the game.  The model for the painting was Goethe’s Faust.

Arturo Ricci (1854-1919) was an Italian painter who specialized in elegant genre scences and costume pieces.  In 1880, he painted “The Game of Chess,” depicting two ladies playing chess as a man looks on.  In 1884, he painted “Sala Artistica,” depicting a man and a woman playing chess as another man observes the game. 

William Roberts (1895-1980) was an English painter and war artist.  In 1930, he painted “Chess Players.”

Martinus Rorbye (1803-1848) was a Danish painter, known both for genre works and landscapes.   In 1845, he painted “Orientals Playing Chess in Front of a Café.”

Giulio Rosati (1858-1917) was an Italian painter.  He painted “Giocatori di scacchi” (The Chess Players), depicting a cardinal playing a lady being watched by a few spectators.

Thomas Rowlandson (1756-1827) was an English artist and caricaturist.  In 1790, he painted “Checkmate.”  The painting is now at the Yale Center for British Art in Hartford, Connecticut.

Ferdinand Victor Leon Roybet (1840-1920) was a French painter.  In 1881 he painted “Musketeers Playing Chess in a Tavern,” which now hangs in the National Museum of Western Art in Tokyo.

Moshe Rynecki (1881-1943) was a Jewish-Polish artist who usually painted scenes of Jewish life.  In 1935, he painted “Chess Table” and “Chess Players.”

Walter Dendy Sadler (1854-1923) was a British painter.  In 1882, he painted “The Chess Game” depicting two catholic priests playing a game of chess.  In 1882, he also painted “Mated,” depicting a man and a woman playing chess.

John Singer Sargent (1856-1925) was an American painter and a leading portrait painter of his era.  He was an avid chess player.  In 1907, he painted “The Chess Game,” which hangs in the Harvard Club in New York.  The painting depicts his niece playing a game of chess with his valet on the Italian-Swiss border.

Carl Schleicher (1855-1871) was an Austrian painter.  He painted “Monks Playing Chess.”

Henry Schwartz (1927-2009) was an American Expressionist painter in Boston, illustrator, and teacher.   In 1958, he painted “The Chess Players.”  He committed suicide in 2009 at the age of 81.

Viatcheslav Schwarz (1838-1869) was a Russian painter.  In 1865, he painted “Scene From the Domestic Life of the Tsar.”  It depicts the Tsar playing chess while two others watch.

Kurt Schwitters (1887-1948) was a German painter who worked in several genres.  He was most famous for his collages, called Merz Pictures.  In 1946, he painted “Portrait of Dr. George Ainsle Johnston,” which depicts Dr. Johnston playing chess with Schwitters.

Abani Sen (1905-1972) was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh and settled in India.   He was one of the early Indian modernists.  He painted “Chess Players.”

Luigi Serra (1846-1888) was an Italian painter.  In 1870, he painted “Annibale Bentivolglio Jouant Aux Échecs.”

Pieter Geerard Sjamaar (1819-1876) was a Dutch painter.    He painted “A Game of Chess,” depicting a chess game played by candlelight.

Raffaello Sorbi (1844-1931) was an Italian painter and one of the most popular Italian artists of the 19th century.  In 1886, he painted “The Chess Players.”  In 1889, he painted “Osteria a Fiesole.”  In 1892, he painted “Osteria all’aperto.”

Ary Stillman (1891-1967) was a Russian-American abstract painter.   In 1936, he painted “Chess Players,” depicting two men playing chess, observed on the side by another person.

Alice Kent Stoddard (1885-1976) was an American painter.  She painted “Chess Players.”

Julius Studnicki (1905-1978) was a Polish painter, illustrator and educator.  During World War II, he was imprisoned in Auschwitz and survived.  He painted “Clergyman Playing Chess with the Devil.”

Jindrich Styrsky (1899-1942) was a Czech Surrealist painter and graphic artist.  In 1925, he painted “Paysage d’échecs.”

Maud Sumner (1902-1985) was a South African painter who studied at the Rodean School in Johannesburg, later studying in Paris with Maurice Denis.  She was known for her watercolor paintings.  She painted “Chess.”

Dorothea Tanning (1910- ) is an American painter (Surrealism movement), printmaker, sculptor and writer.  She is now 100 years old.  In 1942, she met the artist Max Ernest and they played chess.  In 1944, she painted “End game.”  She married artist Max Ernest in 1946 in a double wedding with Man Ray and Juliet Browner. 

Richard Earl Thompson (1914-1991) was an American Impressionist.  He painted “Concentration,” depicting an old man studying a game of chess.

Johann Heinrich Wilhelm Tischbein (1751-1828) was a German painter.  In 1785, he painted “Konradin von Schwaben und Friedrich von Baden Vernehmen Beim Schachspiel ihr Todesurteil” (Konradin of Swabia and Friederich of Baden Awaiting Sentence).   It depicts two people playing chess while being informed of their execution in prison in Naples.  The painting is now in the Hermitage in St. Petersburg.

Jose Mongrell Torrent (1870-1937) was a Spanish painter, sculptor and muralist.  He became a professor at the Escuela de Bellas Artes de San Jorge in Barcelona, Spain.  In 1894, he painted “Musketeers Playing Chess.”

Karl Truppe (1887-1959) was a German painter.  In 1942, he painted “Vita Victorix.”  It depicts Death losing a game of chess to a man who is laughing.  He also painted “Schachspiel mit dem Tod.”

Ludwig Valenta (1882-1943) was an Austrian painter.  He painted “Checkmate,” depicting two men playing chess as a third man stands and watches.

Jacob van der Heyden (1573-1645) was a Flemish engraver, print publisher, sculptor and painter.  In 1616, he created a copperplate for Gustavus Selenus’ chess book, Das Schach oder Konig Spiel.  It depicts two men playing chess on a large chess board, with two kibitzers watching the game.

Alessandro Varotari (1588-1649), also known as Otavio Padovanino, was an Italian painter of the late-mannerist and early-baroque Venetian school.  In 1630, he painted “Marte Gioca a Scacchi con Venere”  (Mars Playing Chess With Venus) It depicts  Mars playing a game of chess with Venus.  She is assisted by her son Armor on her knees.  Her husband, Vulcan, is in the background.

Victor Vasarely (1906-1997) was a Hungarian French painter, known for his optical art (Op-art).  In 1935, he painted “Chess Board.”  He also painted “Chess Cube.”

Benjamin Vautier (1829-1898) was a Swiss painter.  He was an active illustrator and was a royal professor at Duesseldorf.  He painted “Die Schachpartie,” depicting a man making a chess move as another man watches.

Jan Cornelisz Vermeyen (1500-1559) was a Dutch Northern Renaissance painter.  In 1552, he painted “John Frederick the Magnaminous Playing Chess.”

Liberale da Verona (1441-1526) was an Italian painter of the Renaissance period.  Around 1475-1480, he may have painted “Partita a Scacchi” (The Chess Players), which hangs in the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York.  It depicts two chess players, with three kibitzers behind each player.  Other sources say the painting was done by Girolamo da Cremona (1455-1485), who was a manuscript illuminator and worked with Liberale da Verona. 

Eberhard Viegener (1890-1967) was a German painter.  In 1932, he painted “Stilleben mit spielkarten und schachbrett.”  He also painted “Bodegon con ajedrez.”

Maria-Helena Vieira da Silva (1908-1992) was a Portuguese-French abstractionist painter.  In 1948, she painted “Jacque Mate.”

Jacques Villon (1875-1963) was Marcel Duchamp’s older brother (born Gaston Emile Duchamp).  In 1904, Jacques sketched “La Partie d’echecs,” featuring 17-year-old Marcel Duchamp playing chess with his sister, Susanne (1889-1963).

Jacques-Clement Wagrez (1846-1908) was a French painter who painted life of the Middle Ages and the Renaissance.  He painted “The Chess Players,” depicting two ladies playing chess as a man watches one of the ladies.

George Watson (1767-1837)  was a Scottish painter and established himself as a professional portrait painter in Edinburgh.  In 1816, he painted “The game is mine, she cries with joy, you can’t prevent checkmate.”

Frederick Judd Waugh (1861-1940) was an American artist, primarily known as a marine artist.  In 1891, he painted “Chess Players,” depicting two ladies playing chess.

Charles Meer Webb (1830-1895) was a British painter.  In 1864, he painted “Checkmate.”

Alfred Weber (1859-1922) was a Swiss painter.  In 1913, he painted “The Lunch of his Eminence,” depicting a lunch break after a game of chess.

Andreas Paul Weber (1893-1980) was a German painter, political satirist and graphic artist.  During the early days of Nazi Germany, he was arrested by the Gestapo in connection with general persecution of the “Resistance Circle” and sent to al concentration camp.  He was permitted to draw as long as the work was apolitical.  He did his first “Chess Players” series while in prison in Berlin, an later, while in prison in Nuremberg.  In 1976, he painted “Don Quijote und Sancho Pansa.”

Emile-Georges Weiss (1861-1921) was a French painter.  In 1897, he painted “The Chess Game,” depicting two men playing chess as two others watch.

Nils Gustav Wentzel (1859-1927) was a Norwegian painter.  He painted “Chessplayers.”

Joseph Walter West (1860-1933) was a British painter.  In 1920, he painted “Black to Move.”

Louis Wolchonok (1898-1973) was an American painter.  In 1930, he painted “Chess in the Park.”

Gustav Heinrich Wolff (1886-1934) was a German painter.   In 1902, he etched “Playing Chess,” which was published in the Gazette des Beaux-Arts.

Eduardo Zamacois y Zabala (1841-1871) was a Spanish academic painter who studied with Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier.  In 1867, he painted “Checkmated,” depicting two dwarfs playing chess against a clown.

Johann Zoffany (1733-1810) was a German neoclassical painter, active mainly in England.  He painted “Jugando al Ajedrez”  (Playing Chess).  It depicts a father teaching chess as the rest of the family looks on.