Picture gallery

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This page introduces the gallery of cricket prints and paintings. In many ways, these pages are the heart and of soul of this site, which seeks to recapture, or at least point to, the sensory elements of a game of cricket, as opposed to the statistical or recording of matches and players. In other words what it was like to be a spectator or a player.

For the most part, I have included every image I can find that relates to cricket before 1800 and one or two after as well, where I think these are or relevance. The exceptions are where one image is a simple copy of another, also I have restricted my use of family portraits of the well-to-do that happen to include an item of cricket equipment included to lend character to the image – there are very many of those and a sample is sufficient to give the general idea.

Of course, the collection here is limited in scope. Painting was a profession and heir work was expensive. For a view to be worth recording, there had to be a market for the painting which itself presupposes cash and a suitable place to display the work. Un-moneyed rural folk who were certainly he first players were not the target market, so that cricket goes largely unrecorded. It is only when cricket reaches the the young aristocrats of the Star and Garter Inn that we see an artistic interest in the game; the first image we have of a match (incorrectly referred to as Cricket at the Royal Artillery Ground) was originally created for an box available for hire at the Vauxhall Pleasure Gardens. Nevertheless, I would venture to suggest that nowhere else, in real life, in print or on the web, would you find anything to approach the range of early cricket pictures that you will find in this section. It is worth spending time on to see what you can discover.

Very early images

This collection of images does not directly relate to cricket, rather it traces some antecedents of the game. For this, we often have to look to monastic sources, these are where we find the most material. I think they generally portray a world where the playing of ball games, often with a a ball being delivered and hit with a stick, was a common pursuit. I have included two images from the ancient world as well, although these seem to relate to a game which might to an antecedent of hockey.

The cricket field

Now we come the heart of the matter. This collection of paintings and engraving gives us a wonderful insight into the nature of the game as it emerged from the village green into the centre of the nation’s life. We can see how the game was organised, techniques used by the players, the clothing, the adjudication and recording methods – above all, the atmosphere and what may be called, the genius loci, the sense of place, that a cricket ground evokes and accounts for so much of its appeal. What other game could offer such a collection of attractive images dating from well over two hundred years ago?

There may not be many great pictures here, but that is not the point, they are a much-neglected vision into the past, to the origins of a game with which we are all very familiar. There is though a Turner, showing an informal game played in front of Wells Cathedral. There are no less than five images of cricket at the long-since lost White Conduit Fields Ground. We also glimpse cricket in Sussex, Yorkshire, Kent, Essex, USA and other unspecified locations. There is a political cartoon based on the cricket field, a tantalising glimpse of women’s cricket; also a disability match and many views of the lesser aristocracy at play. So much to see.

Youth and Schools

This room of the gallery displays the few images I can find of schools’ cricket and casual games between youths.


This section displays images which have the central object of showing a specific individual or group, either in a cricket context (or at least with cricket equipment) or having cricket fame.