Charles Cundall at Lord’s

Lord’s moves round its large collection of cricketing pictures and there has appeared in the Long Room a large oil by Charles Cundall (1890-1971). This shows the Second Test against the Australians at Lord’s in June 1938 from the top of G Stand. It is a marvellous depiction of the then ground, including its environs. Over behind the Mound Stand was a vast power station; I assume the surviving electricity substation (about to be redeveloped) is a distant reminder.

In any event, whilst Cundall, who was a well-known professional artist, has had a good go at the ground, the representation of the game has defeated him. His players are displayed as in an 18th century depiction of a cricket match: bunched together impossibly closely and with the square leg umpire appearing to be fielding at forward short leg. It is remarkable how hard artists find it to depict a cricket match in a realistic manner; the players are often too small or too large and placed in silly positions.