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by Albert Chevallier Tayler
Goutelette Print size 24 x 36in
Albert Chevallier Taylers painting of the cricket match between Kent and Lancashire at Canterbury in 1906 is cherished by many connoisseurs, some of whom regard it as the ultimate example of this genre.
This particular oil, expansive and delicately worked, is pre-eminent among vintage pictures. The special nature of Chevallier Taylers Canterbury painting stems in part from the fact that here we have identifiable players in credible poses on the field of play, several of them household names. The prevailing vogue had been to depict individuals in solo portraiture or to generalise the pursuit, the game of cricket incidental to the attempt to enchant by means of the rural setting itself.
Chevallier Tayler was commissioned to paint the Canterbury scene after the idea came to Kent County Cricket Clubs chairman, the legendary Lord Harris, who offered the suggestion during his speech at the celebratory dinner at Londons Hotel Cecil on 11 October 1906. It was formally approved by the gentlemen of the clubs main committee at their meeting in December. Kent was jubilant at its team having become county champions for the first time, and this large (45 by 90 in.) panoramic work was seen as the perfect means of marking the success. The artist was offered 200 guineas (£210), with the possibility of a further 150 guineas to be earned from the sale of an edition of prints. Late in 1907, the painting completed, one-hundred-and-ninety-two photogravures were produced, signed by the artist and Lord Harris, and the principal fee was thus covered.
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