The First Game
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The First Game
The First Game
ArtistArnold Friberg
MediumOil on canvas
SubjectFirst American football game
Dimensions95 cm × 150 cm (37.5 in × 60 in)
DesignationChevrolet Division of General Motors
OwnerPrivate collection (unknown)[1]

The First Game is a painting by Arnold Friberg, and was commissioned in 1968 by Chevrolet Motor Division as one of four paintings to commemorate the then-upcoming centennial celebration of college football in the United States.[2] It depicts the famous first game of American intercollegiate football, played by Rutgers College (now Rutgers University) and the visiting College of New Jersey (by then more commonly known as Princeton College) on November 6, 1869, at College Field in New Brunswick, New Jersey. The game was played in front of approximately 100 spectators, who were also depicted on the picture.

The picture

In The First Game, Friberg extoled the fight and physical strength of the game. His painting shows how bruised players collide each other. Some of them even have blood stains in their uniforms. Rutgers players wear a headscarf that resembles a piracy-style. The ball is small and round, like an association football. The field is covered by dry leaves, as usual in November, when the game was played. Spectators are seen at background, some are sitting on a fence, and others run along the players.

Spectators depicted include a Rutgers professor who is reported to have waved his umbrella at the participants while yelling, "You will come to no Christian end!"[3] Friberg included the man with the umbrella in the painting as a tribute.[1]

See also


  1. ^ a b Arnold Friberg on Arte e
  2. ^ Scott, Ricahrd (2008). "Chapter 2". SEC Football: 75 Years of Pride and Passion. p. Page 42.
  3. ^ Hyman, Vicki (October 23, 2010). "How New Jersey Saved Civilization... the first intercollegiate football game". Retrieved 2017.

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