More than a pastime, tennis has served as inspiration for some of the great 20th century painters.
Wimbledon, a time of perennial British expectation and disappointment. It’s also a time where we get to pretend to indulge in all our favourite summer clichés: Pimms, strawberries and cream, straw-hats, Robinson’s Barley Water (other lemon cordials are available), and of course, Cliff Richard.
Handily, it also gives us an opportunity to look at how tennis has been the source of inspiration for numerous artists, and here – collected from our book Court in Canvas: Tennis in Art – we have created a small gallery of such work for you, including the likes of Max Liebermann, Peter Lavery, David Hockney and Percy Shakespeare.
Click a thumbnail to begin the gallery.
Max Liebermann, Tennis Game by the Sea, 1901, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
Percy Shakespeare, Tennis, 1937, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
John Lavery, The Tennis Party, 1885, oil on canvas, Aberdeen Art Gallery.
George Kilburne, A Game of Tennis, 1882, pencil and watercolour on paper, Chris Beetles Gallery, London.
John Lavery, A Rally, 1885, watercolour on paper, Kelvingrove Art Gallery and Museum.
Jacques-Emile Blanche, Partie de Tennis, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
Miguel Mackinlay, Tete-a-Tete, 1930, oil on canvas, Bushey Museum and Art Gallery.
Eric Gill, The Tennis Player, 1923, wood engraving, Tate Britain, London.
John Lavery, Tennis Under the Orange Trees, Cannes, 1929, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
Edith Hallyar, A Summer Shower, 1883, oil on panel, Private Collection.
Duncan Grant, Tennis Player, 1913, pencil and body colour on paper, Courtauld Institute of Art, London.
Attributed to Samuel Reid, Scottish Girl, c. 1887, oil on canvas, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
Percy Shakespeare, The Tennis Player, the 1930s, oil on canvas, Dudley Museum and Art Gallery.
Samuel John Peploe, A Game of Tennis, Luxembourg Gardens, c. 1906, oil on board, Scottish National Gallery of Modern Art.
Christopher Wood, Tennis Players, c. 1925-6, oil on canvas, Private Collection.
David Hockney, Tennis, 1989, fax paper on A4, Saltaire.
Cyril Power, Tennis, c. 1933, linocut, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
Richard Carline, Gilbert and Janet Pairing Up for Tennis, 1922, tempera on canvas, private collection.
John Singer Sargent, Mr and Mrs Isaac Newton Phelps Stokes, 1897, oil on canvas, Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York.
André Lhote, Tennis Players, 1912, oil on canvas, Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Museum.
Lawrence Stephen Lowry, The Tennis Player, 1927, oil on board, private collection.
More information about Court on Canvas, including spreads from the book, are available at our website.