To coincide with this year's Calcutta Cup clash, a new painting has been unveiled at the World Rugby Museum. Commissioned by Oliver Donovan and painted by Robert Highton, the artwork recreates a famous lost painting from the 1880s.
We asked Oliver why he decided to commission a copy of the painting:
'I always thought it was a wonderful painting. Being an ex-player and now a collector of antique rugby art, I was interested in purchasing a lithograph of the original - but it became apparent that even these were non-existent. I learnt that the original had been lost in the late-nineteenth century and it was last seen in a public exhibition in Paris.'
He wanted the copy to be as similar to the original as possible and set about finding a suitable artist:
'It was essential that the artist had experience of sports scenes and was able to replicate the exact style of an artist like William Overend. I came across one of the leading UK sports artists, Robert Highton, who not only matched those criteria but, by coincidence, had been studying Overend's painting style for another project of his.'
The new painting is on long-term loan to the World Rugby Museum and will be on display from 4th February 2023.