Cardsharp starts as the quiet world of the National Gallery is shattered, and Vincent Ward discovers that no painting is safe from the merciless criminal organisation, RedRoom.

These are some of the main characters who feature in Cardsharp:


Vincent Ward

Vincent is 17 and enjoying a gap year in the research of the National Gallery. His parents, Cynthia and David Ward are well known art collectors, who’s collection was mostly destroyed by art thieves when Vincent was six. They are avid defenders of art and have instilled in Vincent the belief that all art should be protected so it can teach and inspire future generations.

Vincent is a little impulsive, and when art is put in danger he tends to act before thinking.

Vincent has read many books on Caravaggio – one of art history’s most notorious painters. Caravaggio was lauded as the finest painter of his generation, and believed he was Rome’s prodigal son. Many of his paintings can still be seen in churches and cathedrals in Rome, Naples, Malta and Sicily. As well as the National Gallery in London and other galleries around the world.




Jennifer Rorstrand.

To anyone who asks, Jennifer is a collector of antique porcelain with a diary full of international contacts. But behind her charm, elegance and demure manner, Jennifer is a tough, resourceful and ambitious agent for the ICC’s Art Crimes department.

She was born in France but has travelled so much there’s little of her accent in her voice. She now lives in London but her work and cover as a porcelain dealer keeps her on the move, wherever a case will take her.





The Wasp

Known only as The Wasp, he is an elusive criminal who rarely sets foot on land, has no address, appears on no government database and passes through country boarders without a trace.

He started out as an entrepreneur who left school at fourteen to make his fortune. Unfortunately, he found that there’s a fortune to be made from arms and drug trafficking between countries. When his business became large enough for RedRoom to take notice, they employed his talents and gave him the protection to become one of the tentacles that now have a grip on the world. With a bigger business comes bigger money, and The Wasp now steals paintings and artefacts to trade in arms and drug deals across Europe and the Mediterranean.




Michelangelo Merisi Caravaggio

Caravaggio was born in Milan and moved to Rome to pursue his career as an artist. Here he quickly rose to fame and became the city’s favourite painter. Great success brought Caravaggio a huge amount of privilege, which he abused and flaunted in the face of the Pope’s police. He was a drunk, fought in street brawls, and was regularly arrested.

This continued until he killed Tommasoni in a dual and the Pope’s police gave Caravaggio a death sentence which could be carried out by any officer the moment they laid eyes on Caravaggio. Caravaggio fled Rome and spent the rest of his life on the run from the Pope’s police, painting and working to earn and official pardon from the Pope.

Many of Caravaggio’s paintings can be seen in cathedrals and galleries around the world and he continues to be one of art history’s most influential and infamous painters.


Here are some of his paintings, which feature in Cardsharp:



This is The Cardsharps. Caravaggio painted it in 1594 and it now hangs in the Kimbell Art Museum in Fort Worth, Texas, USA.

This is actually the second and more famous version of the painting, which established Caravaggio’s lifelike style and set him on the path to great success.







This is Medusa, painted by Caravaggio in 1597. It now hangs in the Uffizi Gallery in Florence, Italy.

Some experts think the face in the centre is a self-portrait of Caravaggio.








This is The Seven Acts of Mercy. Caravaggio painted it while he was on the run from the Pope’s police in 1607. It was commissioned by the Pio Monte della Misericordia in Naples, Italy and hangs there today.







This painting is the Supper at Emmaus. It shows Jesus Christ revealing himself before a group of disciples after his resurrection. It was painted in 1601 and now hangs in the National Gallery, London, England.


To find out more about Caravaggio and other great artists, click here



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