England football players line up at City’s art gallery

Portraits of the Euro 2020 England men’s football squad and its manager, Gareth Southgate, will be shown at the City of London Corporation’s Guildhall Art Gallery this week.

From Harry Kane and Jude Bellingham to Bukayo Saka and Raheem Sterling, the free exhibition, ‘This is England’, features the most successful men’s national team since the winners of the World Cup in 1966, after reaching the final of Euro 2020.

Artist Matt Small’s paintings, which are on loan from Moniker Foundation and managed JG Contemporary, will be on display in the Temple Room at the art gallery from 20 October to 19 February 2023.

Commissioned by the FA and exhibited at the St. George training ground during the Euro 2020 finals, the artworks celebrate the diversity of what it means to be English today and recognises the players’ superb teamwork and admirable stance on equality, inclusivity, and racial injustice. 

The complete collection was recently acquired by The Moniker Foundation, a London-based leading arts platform and foundation, documenting and supporting the new contemporary and urban art movement.

Chair of the City of London Corporation’s Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, Wendy Hyde, said:

“These strikingly-painted portraits of the players will find a welcome home in the gallery’s intimate Temple Room which, by happy coincidence, is a short distance from the remains of an ancient stadium – namely, London’s Roman Amphitheatre.

“I hope that City workers and residents, art lovers and footfall fans, in particular, those whose heroes are included in this impressive line-up, will enjoy this exhibition.”

Artist Matt Small said:

“Through their resolute and determined stance on various social issues and matters of inclusion and compassion for all, this group of players have come to represent the modern face of England, a multi-cultural land where people from all walks of life now call the country home.

“I hope that these paintings, soon, to be exhibited in the heart of the City, can help continue to inspire the country to follow that example and become a society where everyone feels valued and they belong. When this is achieved, this England will become a united place where we can all move forward united as one.”

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Guildhall Art Gallery, has launched Destination City, which will transform the Square Mile’s leisure offer, creating a leading destination for UK and international visitors, workers, and residents to enjoy.

With a £2.5 million annual investment from the City Corporation, Destination City will drive the Square Mile’s recovery from the pandemic and deliver an exciting events programme, including outdoor festivals featuring music, art, education, sport, and wellness. The first in a series of major events took place on Saturday 15 October.