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Joe Darling. (image plate from The Empire's Cricketers. London: Fine Art Society)
, 1905

by Albert Chevallier Tayler

chromolithograph (sheet: 38.0 cm x 25.6 cm)

Joseph Darling (1870–1946), cricketer, landowner and politician, took up cricket in earnest while at school in Adelaide and was fifteen when he set a new record for the highest innings (252) scored in South Australia. At sixteen, he was selected to bat for his home state. A nuggetty middle-order batsman, Darling made his Test debut in Sydney in December 1894. Selected for the England tours in 1896, 1899, 1902 and 1905, he captained the victorious 1899 and 1902 Ashes sides as well as those of 1901–02 and 1905. He played 34 Test matches in all, ending his international career with a total of 1,657 runs. After retiring from professional cricket, he relocated his family to a sheep station in Tasmania, where he raised prize-winning flocks and was active in various rural organisations. He was named a CBE in 1938 and was the Member for Cambridge in the Tasmanian Legislative Council for many years. He died in Hobart in 1946, survived by his wife of 52 years and twelve of their fifteen children.

Albert Chevallier Tayler studied at Heatherley’s School of Art and the Slade School in London and from 1884 exhibited regularly with the Royal Academy. A keen cricketer, Tayler worked from a studio near Lord’s and in 1905 made a series of lithographs based on photographs taken by George Beldam (also a cricketer). Beldam’s photos appeared as illustrations in how-to books including Great Batsmen: their methods at a glance (1905).

Collection: National Portrait Gallery, Canberra
Purchased 2017
Accession number: 2017.111