It seems that Viktor IV was not exactly a bridge player. The assumption is that he frequented the famous Coffee Houses of Amsterdam and watched as the game was being played. If the viewer examines the painting closer, then the viewer will discover that there are:

Spades: AKQJ109876543_ .... no 2. (Note: North's 8 and South's 5 seem similar)

Hearts: AKQJ109876532 .... all 13 cards.

Diamonds: A_QJ109876_432 .... no King and no 5.

Clubs: AKQJ1098765432 .... all present PLUS ONE. The Club 2 is duplicated.

Total number of cards shown in painting: 50 ... and a deck of cards contains 52 cards ... and the Club 2 is duplicated.

The CAPITALIZED WORDS on the right side of the painting read (top) ABOVE and (bottom) RIGHTSIDE.

The CAPITALIZED WORDS on the left side of the painting read (top) UPLEFT and (bottom) BELO(W).


Short History

Source: God is only the question, the answer is YES, said Viktor IV. Viktor was not part of any particular art movement or group, though he kept contacts with artists such as Anton Heyboer and Robert Jasper Grootveld. Viktor IV was a well-known local figure in Amsterdam, living and working aboard an old riverboat. On his boat, Viktor began painting on boards, driftwood and ships' hatches, which he found in and around the Amstel River. Besides painting Ikons, Viktor made Logbooks. These logbooks contained a stream of stories, notes, drawings and collages with specific titles such as The Logbook of the Ship Henry David Thoreau and Thank You Silent Sun.


Source: February 18, 1929. Born in New York City: Walter Carl Glück. Son of Andrew Ferdinand Glück (1891-1974) and Mary Eliopoulos (1895-1965). His father came from Hamburg to the United States in 1914 and was naturalized in 1922. His mother was Greek and had fled with her family from Smirna to the United States in 1922, being naturalized only in 1936. In the Autumn of 1961 he came for a longer period to Amsterdam, where he obtained his first staying permit in December. Actually, he continued photography for a while and did some travelling, until 1963 when president Kennedy was assassinated. This event changed Karl’s life. Karl felt that this was a turning point in his life and after having painted for some months his “belief changed into knowing”, as he said. He had found the way to express himself and in April 1964 he decided to be a painter and a writer and to call himself Victor IV (soon Viktor IV). “It all began in 1964” he used to say.

Viktor started to paint on driftwood, old hatches (luikens, as he called them) and other pieces of driftwood which he collected in the Amsterdam Harbour. He named his paintings Ikons. There is no religious connotation in his use of this Greek work. Viktor’s Ikons are images of everyday events, comments of life, with humorous touches and twists, playful and serious at the same time.

At the end of June 1986 Viktor drowned whilst strengthening, under water, the base of a huge raft that was to be his new studio for painting. His funeral, by boat, on the sunny third of July, attracted thousands of sympathizers both on the river banks and bridges and on dozens of boats.


home back home