National Gallery of Art - THE COLLECTION
image of The House of Cards Jean Siméon Chardin (artist)
French, 1699 - 1779
The House of Cards, probably 1737
oil on canvas
overall: 82.2 x 66 cm (32 3/8 x 26 in.) framed: 107.3 x 92.1 x 10.2 cm (42 1/4 x 36 1/4 x 4 in.)
Andrew W. Mellon Collection
On View
From the Tour: 18th-Century France — Chardin and Portraiture
Object 4 of 11


Catherine II, empress of Russia [1729-1796], by 1774, for the Imperial Hermitage Gallery, Saint Petersburg;[1] purchased March 1931 through (Matthiesen Gallery, Berlin; P. & D. Colnaghi & Co., London; and M. Knoedler & Co., New York) by Andrew W. Mellon [1855-1937], Pittsburgh and Washington, D.C.; deeded 1 May 1937 to The A.W. Mellon Educational and Charitable Trust, Pittsburgh;[2] gift 1937 to NGA.

[1] The painting first appeared in a Hermitage catalogue in 1774. See Serge Ernst, "Notes sur des tableaux français de l'Ermitage," Revue de l'Art 68, no. 365 (November 1935): 135-144, who says that the manuscript catalogue was drawn up by Ernst Milich between 1777 and 1785; Little Girl with a Shuttlecock is no. 407; The House of Cards is no. 408. Rosenberg, in Pierre Rosenberg, Chardin, 1699-1779, Exh. cat. (Galeries nationales du Grand Palais, Paris, Cleveland Museum of Art, Museum of Fine Arts, Boston), Cleveland, 1979: 234, under no. 72, states (in reference to the same catalogue, which he dates to 1774, following Paul Lacroix, "Musée de Palais de l'Hermitage sous le règne de Catherine II," Revue Universelle des Arts 13 [1861]: 178, no. 408) that "no. 408 'Un jeune garcon faisant des maisons de cartes' refers indisputably to the painting now in Washington."

[2] The dates of the Mellon purchase and the deed to the Mellon Trust are according to Mellon records in NGA curatorial files and David Finley's notebook (donated to NGA in 1977 and now in Gallery Archives).

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