Super Bowl Sunday Pre-Game Art Show

Sports, Illustrated in a Painting Blog?

Super Bowl Sunday approaches and of course my mind doesn’t go immediately to who I am going to root for (Atlanta by default because my team was eliminated even before the playoffs) or what to make for the tailgating party I am going to (nachos of course!), but to art and how sports events and athletes have a surprisingly close relationship to art and art makers. It might seem an odd inclusion in a painting blog, but given the physicality of sports–the need for practiced gesture and hand-eye coordination–there is a lot more commonality than you might think.

But even if we move beyond comparing sports players to studio athletes, ie artists, there are numerous depictions of sports figures and athletic events that present themselves throughout art history. Olympians, boxers, rowers, dancers–they have all been painted by one artist or another. And then there are artists who might have had another career in sports. Did you know that George Bellows declined the chance to place professional baseball to pursue his art?

In honor of Super Bowl LI, here is a fun gallery of sports, illustrated through painting, as a nod to how alike passionate people are, whether their field is turf, an artist’s studio, or a painting blog. What unites us all is, hopefully, the sheer love of the “game” and the pursuit of excellence. Enjoy!

2350-courtneyjordansig007-final

 

 

Stag at Sharkey's by George Bellows, 1909. Bellows was an avid fan of boxing and painted the sport throughout his career. Incidentally, he also almost became a career sportsman in his own right, playing baseball, though he decided against such a pursuit in order to devote himself to his art.
Stag at Sharkey’s by George Bellows, 1909. Bellows was an avid fan of boxing and painted the sport throughout his career. Incidentally, he also almost became a career sportsman in his own right, playing baseball, though he decided against such a pursuit in order to devote himself to his art.
The Biglin Brothers Racing by Thomas Eakins, 1872. Rowing was immensely popular in the United States in the 1860s and 70s, pursued by men and women. This painting depicts a famous race that took place on the Schuylkill River of Philadelphia in 1872.
The Biglin Brothers Racing by Thomas Eakins, 1872. Rowing was immensely popular in the United States in the 1860s and 70s, pursued by men and women. This painting depicts a famous race that took place on the Schuylkill River of Philadelphia in 1872.
Au Velodrome by Jean Metzinger, 1911. Metzinger was painter, writer, and theorist. He created Cubist works before Cubism was a collective movement, leading the charge and shaping the way later artists presented form, movement, and space.
Au Velodrome by Jean Metzinger, 1911. Metzinger was painter, writer, and theorist. He created Cubist works before Cubism was a collective movement, leading the charge and shaping the way later artists presented form, movement, and space.
The Football Players by Henri Rousseau, 1908. A nod to the popular sport of rugby, Rousseau nevertheless brings his dreamlike sensibility to the foursome on the field of play, turning the game into a lyrical showcase with a true emphasis on the word, play.
The Football Players by Henri Rousseau, 1908. A nod to the popular sport of rugby, Rousseau nevertheless brings his dreamlike sensibility to the foursome on the field of play, turning the game into a lyrical showcase with a true emphasis on the word play.
Dynamism of a Soccer Player by Umberto Boccioni, 1913. The Futurists embraced all things speed and dynamism, and in many cases taking up sporting figures seemed a perfect way to capture the force and the cutting edge they craved. Soccer players as well as cyclists were popular subjects.
Dynamism of a Soccer Player by Umberto Boccioni, 1913. The Futurists embraced all things speed and dynamism. Taking up sporting figures as subjects was a way to capture the force and the cutting edge of culture that they craved. Soccer players as well as cyclists were popular subjects.
Baronet by George Stubbs, 1794. Stubbs is known for his equine interests and paintings that capture the anatomy and grace of horses in motion. More illustrative than many of his other works, Baronet captures the movement and unity of horse and rider, albeit in a more abstracted way than was typical for the artist.
Baronet by George Stubbs, 1794. Stubbs is known for his equine interests and paintings that capture the anatomy and grace of horses in motion. Baronet is more illustrative than many of his other works. It captures the movement and unity of horse and rider, albeit in a more abstracted way than was typical for the artist.

Related Posts:

Categories

Artist Daily Blog
Courtney Jordan

About Courtney Jordan

  Courtney is the editor of Artist Daily. For her, art is one of life’s essentials and a career mainstay. She’s pursued academic studies of the Old Masters of Spain and Italy as well as museum curatorial experience, writing and reporting on arts and culture as a magazine staffer, and acquiring and editing architecture and cultural history books. She hopes to recommit herself to more studio time, too, working in mixed media.   

Comment