description A classic genre scene depicting three Lyon's Corner house kitchen staff huddled around a table playing cards. Frankfurther would have been well aware of a number of art historical precedents exploring this motif, particularly those by Cézanne. Characteristically, her focus is on the faces and expressions of her sitters and the relationship between their heads and bodies. The light falls directly and dramatically on the central figure of the chef in his toque blanche hat, who dominates the scene, with a second chef of West Indian origin to his right, and a kitchen porter to his left, both looking on, absorbed in the game, as he lays down his cards. Frankfurther uses a warm palette consisting mostly of brown and ochre tones with contrasting areas of white to capture the intimacy of the scene. Card players also feature in a number of sketches including 'Chef with Playing Cards' and the chef is one of her favoured Lyons subjects. Together with 'West Indian Waitresses', 'West Indian Porters' and 'Waitress Resting', this ranks among the finest of her Lyons scenes.
date c. 1951-56
location Lyons Corner House
dimensions 58 x 46 cm
medium oil on paper
exhibition history 'Eva Frankfurther 1930-1959: Memorial Exhibition', Boundary Gallery, London, 15 June-18 July 2001, (40), as 'Card Players, Lyons Corner House', NFS; 'Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britian, c. 1933-45', Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, London, 2009, (33).
literature ed., B. Planskoy, 'Eva Frankfurther 1930-1959: Paintings, lithographs and drawings' (London: Peter Halban, 2001), p. 26; eds., R. Dickson and S. MacDougall, 'Forced Journeys: Artists in Exile in Britain, c. 1933-45' (London: Ben Uri Gallery and Museum, 2009), p. 40, and illus., p. 84.
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