Art UK has updated its cookies policy. By using this website you are agreeing to the use of cookies. To find out more read our updated Use of Cookies policy and our updated Privacy policy.


Aside from the separately described sports of hunting and fishing, team sports have also attracted a few artists keen to represent the full spectrum of human social life. Particularly interesting are early depictions of familiar sports like football and cricket, such as the copy of Boitard’s Exact Representation of the Game of Cricket of c.1760. Even earlier, cupids and putti can be seen playing croquet in the seventeenth century.

The explosion of popularity in tennis in the late nineteenth century is recorded in several paintings by Lavery and others of the period, as is football, both as an informal scrummage on a village green painted by Thomas Webster, and as the professional game.