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Artwork is ever inspiring and ever beautiful: Games that feature historical artwork on the cover
Judit Szepessy
Canada
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Canada
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I love art: paintings, architecture, sculptures, music, etc. I enjoy going to art galleries and getting lost in the unique world of paintings and drawings. Lots have been said about the transforming power of art, and I do not want to reiterate any of these here.

I was interested to see how many boardgames use real artwork on their cover. After doing some research, I found a few, but I am sure we could add some more. This research gave me the opportunity to visit museums again, and enjoy some of the finest work of art. I had a wonderful time doing that, and I hope you will enjoy this list too!

Please, if you know any other games that use real artwork for their covers, add to this list!

(Another list about boardgame components using artwork, is already in the works.)
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1. Board Game: 2 de Mayo [Average Rating:6.96 Overall Rank:1104]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
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Canada
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The Third of May by Francisco Goya, 1808

The Game Dos de Mayo is an abstract game of the terrible incidents that took place in Madrid on May 2nd 1808.


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2. Board Game: Richard III: The Wars of the Roses [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:1345]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
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King Richard III, by unknown artist, late 16th century.

The Wars of the Roses (formerly known simply as Wars of the Roses) is an epic two-player game concerning the long and bloody dynastic struggle between the houses of Lancaster and York for the throne of England.



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3. Board Game: The Van Gogh & Friends Art Game [Average Rating:4.17 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
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Canada
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Pierre-Auguste Renoir: Dance at Bougival, 1882–1883.


The Van Gogh & Friends Art Game contains thirty six oversized cards. Each card shows a color illustration or detail from paintings by VanGogh, Gaugin, Cezanne, Seurat, and Toulouse-Lautrec. The cards come with rules for "Go Fish for Art" and "Masterpiece Memory." In "Go Fish for Art," each player tries to collect sets of six cards by the same artist.


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4. Board Game: Renaissance Go Fish for Art [Average Rating:4.88 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
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Lady with Ermin by Leonardo da Vinci, from around 1489–1490.

Learn about great art as you play "Go Fish" and "Concentration" card games. Use strategy and memory to collect all the works of art by each artist. You don't need to know about art to win the game and you learn a lot as you play.


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5. Board Game: Napoleon at Eylau [Average Rating:6.52 Overall Rank:6969]
Judit Szepessy
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Napoleon Crossing the Alps by Jacques-Louis David, 1800.

Tactical level re-enactment of the battle between French and Russian forces near the town of Preussich-Eylau, 1807.

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6. Board Game: The Enigma of Leonardo [Average Rating:4.90 Overall Rank:15604]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
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Vitruvian Man by Leonardo da Vinci, 1487.

It is accompanied by notes based on the work of the architect, Vitruvius. In The Enigma of Leonardo, players try to collect keys by creating patterns in the cards before them on the table.


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7. Board Game: Pastiche [Average Rating:6.85 Overall Rank:1236]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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A World of Beautiful Colors comes alive as players choose commission cards picturing 34 of the finest European art works of the past six centuries. Players score their commissions by mixing primary colors through clever tile placement, and recreating the palette of colors used by the masters who created these works.



The two sisters by Pierre- Auguste Renoir, 1881


Garden at Sainte-Adresse by Claude Monet, 1867


Woman with an Umbrella by Paul Signac, 1893


The dream by Franz Marc, 1912
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8. Board Game: Medici [Average Rating:7.15 Overall Rank:466]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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Giuliano de Medici after Raphael, 16th (copy,the original was lost).

The object is to accrue the most points during three rounds, which you do by spending your points to bid on sets of cards.


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9. Board Game: Friedrich [Average Rating:7.56 Overall Rank:510]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
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Frederick the Great of Prussia by Anton Graff, 1781.

Defeat Prussia before the Tsarina dies! Or be Frederick the Great and struggle for survival with a mixture of courageous willpower, sudden inspiration and stoic patience.

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10. Board Game: National Gallery Artist's Card Game [Average Rating:4.67 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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The Umbrellas by Pierre -Auguste Renoir, 1881

Four card games using the same pack of commemorative cards from the National Gallery. Each card is of very high quality and features one of 52 famous paintings. Two of the games are familiar e.g. snap or memory.

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11. Board Game: Philanthropist: The National Gallery, London [Average Rating:6.64 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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At the heart of the game are the 100 color reproductions of paintings from the museum. Players compete to give away all of their money by answering questions about these paintings.


The Rokeby Venus by Diego Velázquez, 1651


The Water Lilly Pond by Claude Monet, 1916


Bacchus and Ariadne by Titian 1524


Wilton Diptych,1395-99
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12. Board Game: The Fine Art Game [Average Rating:4.33 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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Players place their pawns on a board set to resemble the floor of an art museum. Each space is adjacent to a stack of cards with pictures of famous paintings. On a player's turn, he rolls a die and moves a Museum guide about the board. If he lands on a space occupied by your piece, you collect one piece of art (and a point) and may ask a trivia question of the player who moved the Guide (for more points).


Dance at Bougival by Renoir


Mona Lisa by Leonardo da Vinci 1519
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13. Board Game: The Kingdoms of Crusaders [Average Rating:5.99 Overall Rank:10054]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
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The Battle of Antioch by Gustave Dore's, in the 1880's.

In The Kingdoms of Crusaders, players assemble units to create armies and overwhelm opponents competing for the same territories.

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14. Board Game: Les Vins de France: The Game of French Wine & Food [Average Rating:5.72 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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Luncheon of the Boating Party 1881 by Pierre August Renoir.

In Les Vins de France, you will travel through the vineyards of France, acquiring some of the myriad types of wines. Along the way, you will dine on entrées chosen from menus of authentic regional cuisine. Select a wine to accompany each meal, and score points based on the "wisdom" of your choice. Or you may trade wines in an attempt to build a regional collection that can be sold for even more points. Go on a picnic, or a tasting, take wines from your opponents...


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15. Board Game: Great Art Close up: National Gallery of Art [Average Rating:4.50 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
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A Young Girl Reading by Jean-Honoré Fragonard, 1776.

Discover art of the great museums of the world as you play 5 fun card games, including "Memory," "Old Maid," and 2 new matching games for children of different ages. Turn your next visit to the art museum into a treasure hunt with each Close Up deck.




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16. Board Game: Great Art Close up: The J. Paul Getty Museum [Average Rating:5.00 Unranked]
Judit Szepessy
Canada
London
Canada
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Irises by Van Gogh,1889.

Discover art of the great museums of the world as you play 5 fun card games, including "Memory," "Old Maid," and 2 new matching games for children of different ages. Turn your next visit to the art museum into a treasure hunt with each Close Up deck.


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17. Board Game: Masters Gallery [Average Rating:6.61 Overall Rank:1696]
United States
Boston
Massachusetts
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The Starry Night by Vincent van Gogh, 1889

This Knizia card game was published in two editions, one with a "Modern Art The Card Game" cover and featuring modern styled art on the game cards, the other one pictured here with a "Masters Gallery" cover with VanGogh's painting and featuring classic paintings by several famous artists on the game cards (see my review for some comparative pictures).



Wikipedia: (Dutch: De sterrennacht) is a painting by Dutch post-impressionist artist Vincent van Gogh. The painting depicts the view outside his sanitarium room window at night, although it was painted from memory during the day. Since 1941 it has been in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art in New York City. Reproduced often, the painting is widely hailed as his magnum opus.
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18. Board Game: Warriors of God [Average Rating:7.43 Overall Rank:1107]
Oh you seekers of the new who run terrified from history into the clutches of an eternal life where no electric shaver can be built to last.
United States
Riva
Maryland
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    Joan at the coronation of Charles VII, by Jean Auguste Dominique Ingres, 1854:



    The cover features an authentic signature as well.

    She's a complete bad-ass in the game by the way.

             S.


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19. Board Game: Manifest Destiny [Average Rating:6.51 Overall Rank:3013]
Donald Walsh
United States
Columbia
Maryland
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"American Progress," by John Gast, 1872

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20. Board Game: La Bataille des Quatre Bras [Average Rating:7.92 Overall Rank:2614]
Edmund Hon
Canada
Maple
Ontario
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The cover is "Black Watch at Bay" by William Barnes Wollen. The original is at Balhousie Castle (The Black Watch Regimental Headquarters and Museum) in Perth, Scotland

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21. Board Game: Siena [Average Rating:6.15 Overall Rank:3989]
Johan Pettersson
Sweden
Höllviken
Skåne
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The Allegory of Good Government by Ambrogio Lorenzetti, 1338



The wonderful fresco by Ambrogio Lorenzetti is the inspiration for this game.The fresco was orderd by the Town Council of Siena to show a happy city. (That is, of course, their own city.)
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22. Board Game: Myytti: Väinämöisen tarina [Average Rating:5.12 Unranked]
Miika K.
Finland
KAIPOLA
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Akseli Gallen-Kallela - Aino Myth, Triptych (1891)

Painting by Akseli Gallen-Kallela, depicting a scene from Kalevala, a Finnish epic poem. Aino was Joukahainen's sister who was promised to the old and wise Väinämöinen in marriage after Joukahainen lost a magic singing match against Väinämöinen. Aino instead decides to drown herself.

The three pictures tell the story: the left panel one is about the first encounter of Väinämöinen and Aino in the forest, the right panel depicts mournful Aino weeping on the shore and listening to the call of the maids of Vellamo who are playing in the water. Aino has made her decision to choose death rather than her wizened suitor. The middle panel depicts the end of the story. Väinämöinen uses his magic to fish for Aino in the lake that she entered. He catches a small fish but decides it is too plain and insignificant to be his fiancée, so he throws it back. In that instant the fish changes into Aino who proceeds to mock the old man, that he held her in his hand but chose to let her go. After that she vanishes for ever.

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23. Board Game: La Bataille de la Moscowa (third edition) [Average Rating:8.58 Overall Rank:3408]
Edmund Hon
Canada
Maple
Ontario
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The original is by Louis-François, Baron Lejeune. Currently the painting is in the Versailles.

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24. Board Game: 1807: The Eagles Turn East [Average Rating:6.86 Overall Rank:6475]
Edmund Hon
Canada
Maple
Ontario
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The original painting is by Édouard Detaille, depticting Colonel Lepic at the Battle of Eylau with Grenadiers à Cheval of the Garde Impériale. It shows him admonishing his troops for ducking their heads under intense fire: "Heads up, gentlemen, these are bullets, not turds".

The painting now resides in Musée Condé at Chantilly, Oise, France.

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25. Board Game: The 6 Days of Glory [Average Rating:6.65 Overall Rank:6127]
Edmund Hon
Canada
Maple
Ontario
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Original painting is Campagne de France, by Jean-Louis-Ernest Meissonier. The painting now resides at Musée d'Orsay in Paris.

Édouard Detaille (the painter of the Colonel Lepic at Eylau painting used on the 1807 game above this entry) was Meissonier's student.

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