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Pop Quiz

What do these two images have in common?

Here's a hint... There's one happening this weekend and although they're called the same thing, they mean very different things in Europe and the United States.

That's right, it's a football game.

The image on top is an engraving by Winslow Homer and was originally published in Harper's Weekly in 1865. It illustrates soldiers in the Civil War playing "Foot-Ball." At this point in time, football wasn't quite the sport we're familiar with today. Rather, it was more of a soccer-rugby-football hybrid, which might explain the reason it actually looks more like a big fight.

The image immediately above—a painting by Kazimir Malevich currently on view in gallery 393A—might not be as easy of a read. But its full title says it all: Painterly Realism of a Football Player–Color Masses in the 4th Dimension. And as you look at the abstracted geometric shapes floating on the white background,  you may begin to sense the dynamism inherent in the movements of a football player. But similarly, considering this was painted in Russia in 1915, "football" as Malevich knew it was definitely what we Americans call soccer.

So enjoy the game this weekend...or, in my case, the commercials and the food!

Image Credits:

Winslow Homer. Holiday in Camp—Soldiers Playing "Foot-Ball", published July 15, 1865. Gift of Arthur and Hilda Wenig.

Kazimir Malevich, Painterly Realism of a Football Player–Color Masses in the 4th Dimension (1915). Oil on canvas. ß27-5/8 x 17-5/16 in. (70.2 x 44.1 cm). Through prior gift of Charles H. and Mary F. S. Worcester Collection, Art Institute of Chicago Acquisition Funds, 2011.1.

Tags: Fun Facts