French Romanticism paintings and English rugby don't seem to go hand in hand, but lo and behold, O2's most recent campaign has brought the two together in a strange (and oddly beautiful) piece of art.
Pictured outside of the iconic French art gallery, The Louvre, the piece immortalises the vital supportive role that fans play in keeping the spirit of the sport alive. The piece titled: 'Wear la Rose’, was commissioned ahead of England's face-off against France in the Rugby World Cup. (If you're interested in creating your own Louvre-worthy paintings, check out our beginner's guide on how to use oil paints).
The one-of-a-kind piece is the work of Canadian artist Vincent McIndoe, who captured real England fans in the throes of celebration. The painting shows a crowd of supporters wearing O2-branded England shirts, headed up by a fan waving the St George's flag with pride.
While it might be an odd concept, the French Romantic style of the painting really seems to capture the palpable energy of the jubilant crowd. A closer look at the work of art shows a diverse array of excited and anticipatory faces within the crowd of passionate fans, showing that supporting the team is an inclusive space for young and old.
The painting's title, "Wear la Rose", plays on O2's established 'Wear the Rose' campaign, showing their support as a longstanding sponsor of English rugby. The campaign is a collaboration between O2's regular marketing agency VCCP, with the help of content creation studio Girl&Bear and digital innovators Bernadette.
According to Marketing Beat, O2's director of brand and marketing, Simon Groves. says: “Our Wear la Rose campaign has England Rugby fans at its heart, championing their support and capturing what it means to be a fan." "As proud partners of England Rugby, we’re behind the team and Wear la Rose with pride.”
Speaking of the inpsiration behind the campaign, VCCP's creative director Kimberly Gill says: ”Across the channel there will be drama, there will be sweat and tears. We wanted to create something to match the passion and emotion shared by fans and players. So, we put oil on canvas, and sailed this unique and visceral piece of art over the English Channel, to take its place on French soil.”
While this strange mashup of fine art and popular culture seems a little peculiar at first glance, it's a surprisingly fun and wholesome way to celebrate the fighting spirit of sports fans – who knows, maybe one day art historians will be studying this piece for years to come. This isn't the only instance of a classical art clash in the modern day, check out this 17th-century painting that (apparently) contains Nike sneakers.