The Musical Group / The Card Players

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Giovanni Battista Boncori
Italian (1633–1699)
The Musical Group, ca. 1675
Oil on canvas
The Card Players, ca. 1675
Oil on canvas

A student of the painter Francesco Mura, Giovanni Battista Boncori built a reputation in mid- seventeenth-century Rome as a painter of altarpieces and large-scale mural programs. His exuberant high Baroque style is splendidly revealed in the Chrysler’s companion paintings, The Card Players and The Musical Group. The two subjects may at first seem incongruous as pendants. But by presenting opposing images of high life and low life, of harmony and discord, the two paintings convey a broader moral message about the choices we must all make between good and bad behavior, between virtue and vice.