Monday, 16 April 2012


When Fantasy Bob was recently in Madrid he enjoyed visiting the Museo del Prado.  He recommends it to all art loving cricketers, or cricket loving artists for that matter (to the extent that there is a difference).  The Prado is Test Match Quality, indeed a cricketer could spend a whole 5 days in it and still leave much to be seen.  Surprisingly, given that its collection is dominated by Spanish work, there are occasional cricket related works on display.

For example - or por ejemplo as the locals would put it - the great Spanish artist Diego Velazquez may have lived and worked in the 17th Century, but he was obviously familiar with the game and its personalities.  How else would he have achieved this notable picture?  The catalogue names it simply as Mars.  But cricketers will see it for what it is - a portrait of the great moustached Australian paceman Mervyn Hughes.   Merv poses fresh from the showers, having demolished English batting with a mixture of bouncers and invective. A towel is delicately draped over his googlies. For some unexplained and artistic reason, he has forgotten to take his batting helmet off.

Mervyn Hughes by Velazquez


  1. FB may have noted that Merv the Swerve appears in another Prado painting by Velazquez, Los Borrachos o el Triunfo de Baco (literally The Drunks or The Triumph of Bacchus). This depicts the 1993 Australian side celebrating their Ashes series victory in England and Merv can be seen fourth from right in the picture. As FB would say, test match quality.

    1. FB thought that David Boon was the subject of this work.

    2. Opinion seems to be divided on that question - I tend to think you may be right though.