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Although art and physical education were considered completely opposing subjects at school, they have actually proven to be a perfect match in the art world. Sport in art has been depicted many times throughout history, and is particularly prominent in contemporary art.

In antiquity, the Greeks worshipped the youthful and athletic body, paintingthe events of the first Olympic Games on pottery in 776 BC. 

Whatever the medium (photography, painting, sculpture, collage, etc.), their anatomy, their psychological state, where they train or even their competitions; athletes are a never-ending source of inspiration for artists. Developing technology and the ability to travel have made the study of sports more accessible to amateurs everywhere. Whether represented in a realistic or symbolic way, sport is a recurrent theme for young artists. Join us at Artsper as we enter sport mode and unveil our very own Olympic podium of artworks.

Photography is probably the first medium we think of when we think about the artistic representation of sport. This is for technical reasons, as speed is needed to capture athletes at the height of their game. Snapshots of athletes are taken on the spot to better capture an accurate portrayal of not only their movements, but also the rising tension between opposite team members. 

Leader of the new wave, Gerry Cranham made a career out of athletics before becoming a coach himself. A passionate photographer, he took photos of the young athletes he trained in order to rectify their techniques, and analyse their running approach. After becoming a professional sports photographer at the age of 28, he quickly established a reputation, spearheading sport photography not only in England but also internationally. His photographs of rugby, football, tennis, wrestling and swimming, were printed worldwide in prestigious magazines such as Sports Illustrated and The Observer. 

Sport also inspired painters throughout the 19th and 20th centuries, which can be seen in Gustave Courbet's 1853 painting, The Wrestlers. This large format oil painting depicts two men engaged in 'French wrestling', in the former hippodrome on the Champs-Élysées. To the right of the painting there is a grandstand filled with spectators who are cheering on the athletes. Even Claude Monet explored the theme of sport with his 1872 work Regattas at Argenteuil, where sailboats leave mesmerising reflections on the water's surface. Meanwhile modern artist Nicolas de Staël, depicts an abstract football match with his work Footballers, where players can only be made out from the use of flat tints of colour that determine their team. 

Like Gerry Cranham, you can also find your calling through contemporary sport painting, sculpture and photography. Discover the works by both established and emerging artists like Victor Spahn, Isabelle Picarel, Michel Birot, Makiko Furuichi and others...  

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Jean-Luc Lopez, Rugby en suspension, Painting

Jean-Luc Lopez

Rugby en suspension, 2021
60 x 80 cm


Philarthrop, Batte Chanel, Sculpture


Batte Chanel, 2021
79 x 5 x 5 cm


François Foucras, Dompter la houle, Painting

François Foucras

Dompter la houle, 2020
50 x 50 x 4 cm


Réjane LeChat, Le Coureur I/IV, Sculpture

Réjane LeChat

Le Coureur I/IV, 2021
21 x 54 x 10 cm


Graciela Gallardo, Passion, Painting

Graciela Gallardo

Passion, 2021
60 x 45 cm


Bertrand Bataille, Les paravents, Painting

Bertrand Bataille

Les paravents, 2019
80 x 100 x 5 cm


Philippe  Hiquily, Marathonienne, Sculpture

Philippe Hiquily

Marathonienne, 2020
16 x 11.5 x 6 cm


Our recommendations Gerry Cranham, White Hart Lane, Photography

Gerry Cranham

White Hart Lane, 1964
40 x 60 cm


Our recommendations Eduardo Arroyo, Copa del mundo de futbol, Print

Eduardo Arroyo

Copa del mundo de futbol, 1982
95 x 60 cm


Our recommendations David Gerstein, Biking B, Sculpture

David Gerstein

Biking B, 1998
56 x 140 x 15 cm


Our recommendations Tanguy Mendrisse, Où est Charlie ? III, Photography

Tanguy Mendrisse

Où est Charlie ? III, 2019
30 x 24 x 0.1 cm


Our recommendations Robert Rauschenberg, Portrait of Merce Cunningham, Print

Robert Rauschenberg

Portrait of Merce Cunningham, 1984
71.1 x 47.6 cm


Babette Degraeve, Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), Sculpture

Babette Degraeve

Kleine pup met bot (Small puppy with bone), 2019
9 x 10 x 14 cm


Denial, Fashion Addict: Burberry pill, Print


Fashion Addict: Burberry pill, 2019
80 x 20 x 2 cm


Our recommendations Joost Wensveen, Blackrock, Photography

Joost Wensveen

Blackrock, 2015
60 x 90 x 1 cm


Valérie Betoulaud, Le plongeoir bleu, Print

Valérie Betoulaud

Le plongeoir bleu, 2017
50 x 70 x 1 cm


Our recommendations Dorota Zych-Charaziak, Volleyball, Painting

Dorota Zych-Charaziak

Volleyball, 2013
110 x 140 cm


Vladimir Velickovic, 26ème Trophée Lancôme, Print

Vladimir Velickovic

26ème Trophée Lancôme, 1995
75 x 54 cm


Our recommendations Tommy Schultz, Best wave I, Photography

Tommy Schultz

Best wave I, 2015
50 x 75 x 0.1 cm


Milburn-Foster, Woman Walking II, Painting


Woman Walking II, 2021
92 x 65 cm


Our recommendations Brian Edenel, Sumo, Sculpture

Brian Edenel

Sumo, 2020
25 x 21 x 14 cm


Our recommendations Patrick Gripe, Polytechnique, Photography

Patrick Gripe

Polytechnique, 2001
40 x 60 x 0.1 cm


Our recommendations Cristina Aldehuela, Lelo 1, Photography

Cristina Aldehuela

Lelo 1, 2014
40 x 60 x 0.1 cm


Anne Eliayan et Christian Pic, Secret partagé, Photography

Anne Eliayan et Christian Pic

Secret partagé, 2020
80 x 120 x 1 cm


Our recommendations Mark Leech, Sir Alex, Photography

Mark Leech

Sir Alex, 2001
30 x 45 x 0.1 cm


Our recommendations Julien Poupart, Ensemble, Photography

Julien Poupart

Ensemble, 2011
40 x 60 x 0.1 cm


Laurent Gudin, Hand I, Photography

Laurent Gudin

Hand I, 2004
40 x 40 x 0.1 cm


Jean-Luc Lopez, Rugby de placage, Fine Art Drawings

Jean-Luc Lopez

Rugby de placage, 2021
42 x 56 cm
Fine Art Drawings


Agathe Wagner, Le grand saut 5, Fine Art Drawings

Agathe Wagner

Le grand saut 5, 2017
50 x 70 x 2 cm
Fine Art Drawings


Francky Boy, Les 24H du Mans, Print

Francky Boy

Les 24H du Mans, 1998
71 x 88 cm


Agathe Wagner, Saut 1, Painting

Agathe Wagner

Saut 1, 2016
50 x 70 x 1 cm


Nelson Leirner, Hot dog, Print

Nelson Leirner

Hot dog, 2013
30 x 70 cm


João Luiz Bulcão, Brasil 2, Photography

João Luiz Bulcão

Brasil 2, 2000
30 x 45 x 0.1 cm


LeRoy Neiman, Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal / Los Angeles Lakers), Print

LeRoy Neiman

Shaq (Shaquille O'Neal / Los Angeles Lakers), 2000
119.4 x 81.3 cm


Jean-François Talivez, Power struggle, Photography

Jean-François Talivez

Power struggle, 1992
60 x 40 cm


TMM, Snowboard Picture, Sculpture


Snowboard Picture, 2019
160 x 20 x 2 cm


Gérard Uféras, Opéra XIV, Photography

Gérard Uféras

Opéra XIV, 2006
60 x 40 x 2 cm


Our recommendations Michel Birot, Frères, Photography

Michel Birot

Frères, 2005
60 x 90 x 0.1 cm


Ian Bradshaw, Twickenham Streaker, Photography

Ian Bradshaw

Twickenham Streaker, 1974
30 x 42.5 x 0.1 cm


Jodi Bieber, Cardiff by night, Photography

Jodi Bieber

Cardiff by night, 2003
70 x 50 x 0.1 cm


Carmenly, Amy, Painting


Amy, 2021
130 x 97 x 3 cm


Frédéric de Torcy, Rugby - Placage, Painting

Frédéric de Torcy

Rugby - Placage, 2021
100 x 75 cm


Lionel Morateur, Mort d'un clown, Photography

Lionel Morateur

Mort d'un clown, 2019
60 x 90 x 0.5 cm


Francky Boy, Viva Mondial, Painting

Francky Boy

Viva Mondial, 1998
139 x 195 x 10 cm


Antonio de Felipe, Comerse el coco II, Painting

Antonio de Felipe

Comerse el coco II, 2009
116 x 89 x 4 cm


Laurence Pubert, A la trace - série Rugby, Sculpture

Laurence Pubert

A la trace - série Rugby, 2019
30 x 35 x 20 cm


Patrick Villas, Untitled, Fine Art Drawings

Patrick Villas

Untitled, 2013
50 x 65 cm
Fine Art Drawings


Bruno Charoy, Tracks II, Photography

Bruno Charoy

Tracks II, 2014
40 x 40 x 0.1 cm


Elisa Haberer, Plongeurs, Photography

Elisa Haberer

Plongeurs, 2008
100 x 100 x 0.1 cm


Christophe Paucelier, Michel Desjoyeaux, Photography

Christophe Paucelier

Michel Desjoyeaux, 2008
60 x 40 x 0.1 cm


Thomas Hoeffgen, Lagos la dingue, Photography

Thomas Hoeffgen

Lagos la dingue, 2009
40 x 103 x 0.1 cm


Polo 51.67, His aimess, Print

Polo 51.67

His aimess, 2018
41 x 56 cm


Clément Poitrenaud, Luke McAlister, Photography

Clément Poitrenaud

Luke McAlister, 2015
30 x 30 x 0.1 cm


Chiara Dazi, Le lutteur, Photography

Chiara Dazi

Le lutteur, 2003
60 x 60 cm


Isabelle Picarel, Ecosse, Photography

Isabelle Picarel

Ecosse, 2013
53 x 80 cm


Pawel Skurski, Run against the Shadow, Painting

Pawel Skurski

Run against the Shadow, 2004
100 x 110 x 2 cm


Laurent Troude, Jougs, Photography

Laurent Troude

Jougs, 2007
40 x 60 x 0.1 cm


Pierre-Emmanuel Rastoin, Green and Bunker, Photography

Pierre-Emmanuel Rastoin

Green and Bunker, 2011
60 x 80 x 0.1 cm


Our recommendations Li Wei, On the surface of the earth, Photography

Li Wei

On the surface of the earth, 2004
100 x 100 cm


Max Ernst, Jeu d'échecs en Or 23 carats et Argent sulfurisé 1er titre, Sculpture

Max Ernst

Jeu d'échecs en Or 23 carats et Argent sulfurisé 1er titre, 1965
60 x 60 x 5 cm


Laget81, My Nastase, Painting


My Nastase, 2019
46 x 61 x 4 cm


Maud Bernos, Bertrand de Broc, Photography

Maud Bernos

Bertrand de Broc, 2013
80 x 80 x 5 cm


Guillaume Herbaut, Tchernobyl, Photography

Guillaume Herbaut

Tchernobyl, 2009
60 x 75 x 0.1 cm


Javier De Juan, Las Autoridades Sanitarias advierten..., Painting

Javier De Juan

Las Autoridades Sanitarias advierten..., 1991
56 x 38 cm


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