I have always admired Max Beckmann's Rugby Players painting. So when my stepson Alex started playing rugby I knew I'd certainly take on a rugby painting. The push and tangle of bodies makes for constant visual engagement. It reminds me of the overlapping legs of horses and soldiers in a Pierro della Francesca. Moreover, the rugby uniforms usually have interesting stripes and patterns. And because the uniforms aren't overloaded with padding, it is easy to read the body movements.
Philip Guston also liked to paint tangled legs and objects and was an obvious fan of Pierro della Francesca. Guston always had a couple of postcards with Pierro della Francesca reproductions pinned to his kitchen wall. As for Beckmann, he was also a fan of Pierro della Francesca. I wonder if he was thinking of Francesca when he painted his Rubgy Players painting.