Friday, January 7, 2011

The Chessplayers of Radom

I've been working on a painting in my Radom series of a group of chessplayers on the streets of Radom. It has been one of the paintings I've struggled with, but have found pleasing in those rare moments when it works. It has gone through many iterations, but below is a detail from what I have thus far.  The painting has quite a bit of texture from the medium which builds up the figures. 

I asked Dora whether she recalled chess players in Radom and she advised me that chess, like playing the violin, was a cultural occupation of the Jewish community.  All the men played chess and taught their sons and grandsons. 

"It's a thinking game", she added.  You have to be able to outthink and predict what your opponent's movements will be."

I found myself wondering about that skill set and whether in fact it was fostered by an environment of potential danger where one had to be able to outthink and predict an opponent's movements in the real world. 

1 comment:

  1. I suspect that you are right. A perilous environment where agility and physical strength are no defense would encourage the honing of strategic skills instead.