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Viv Richards

Viv Richards, by William Bowyer, 1986 - NPG 5999 - © William Bowyer

© William Bowyer

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Viv Richards

by William Bowyer
oil on board, 1986
32 in. x 27 5/8 in. (813 mm x 702 mm)
Purchased, 1988
Primary Collection
NPG 5999

Sitterback to top

Artistback to top

  • William Bowyer (1926-2015), Painter. Artist of 2 portraits, Sitter in 2 portraits.

This portraitback to top

The cricketer 'Viv' Richards, born in Antigua, was a prolific batsman and charismatic captain of the West Indian test side. He began his first class career in 1972 and two years later qualified for Somerset. He played for the county until the controversial ending of his contract in 1986. In 1976 his test aggregate of 1,710 runs at an average of 90 set a record. He is seen in this portrait at the crease.

Related worksback to top

  • NPG x88922: Honor Elizabeth Clerk (includes the portrait)

Linked publicationsback to top

  • Gibson, Robin; Clerk, Honor, 20th Century Portraits in the National Portrait Gallery Collection, 1993, p. 37 Read entry

    Born in Antigua, Viv Richards made his test début for the West Indies in 1974 and joined forces the same year with his close friend Ian Botham to play for Somerset. Regarded from the start as a world class player, Richards stayed with Somerset for 12 years and was a key element in their popularity. When released by the county side in acrimonious circumstances in 1986, Botham too left in protest. At the height of his career Richards was regarded as the most awesomely destructive batsman in the world, with possibly his most impressive innings being the 291 he scored against England at the Oval in 1976. West Indies' greatest ever run-maker, he was the inevitable successor as captain to Clive Lloyd, and under his leadership between 1985 and 1992 the West Indies never lost a series.

    The portrait is unusual in the Gallery's collection in that the subject is seen in action, but is one of many similar studies of cricketers by William Bowyer, himself a keen player and follower of the sport.

  • Saywell, David; Simon, Jacob, Complete Illustrated Catalogue, 2004, p. 520

Linked displays and exhibitionsback to top

Events of 1986back to top

Current affairs

Hampton Court Palace is devastated by fire. Much of the third floor and the roof of the building were destroyed, although, thanks to the courage of the fire fighters, only one painting and one piece of furniture were ruined.
Prince Andrew, Duke of York, marries Sarah Ferguson at Westminster Abbey.

Art and science

Poems on the Underground, the brainchild of American writer Judith Chernaik, is launched by London Underground. A rolling programme of poems is displayed in tube train carriages, bringing contemporary and classic poetry to commuters.
The Independent Newspaper is first published.
Artists, Gilbert and George win the Turner Prize.

International

An explosion at the Chernobyl nuclear power station leads to nuclear meltdown in the reactor and causes massive nuclear contamination over Russia, Belarus, Ukraine, western Europe, the UK and Ireland, and even North America. The 2005 Chenobyl Forum attributed 56 direct deaths to the disaster and estimated that 9,000 people may die from some form of cancer as a result of exposure to radiation.

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