All Blacks rugby hooker Anton Oliver is not known as a shrinking violet on or off the field and now the former captain has posed nude for a painting, the Sunday News reported today.

Oliver, 31, bared his 1.87m, 111kg frame, all of it, in front of Dunedin artist Simon Richardson for a painting to go on show in a Parnell gallery in Auckland.

"He wasn't nervous," Richardson told the newspaper.

"He was quite relaxed about he whole thing."

The painting is to be finished in a few weeks.

All Blacks great Colin Meads, now aged 70 and who played his 55 tests in a very different era to Oliver, was unimpressed.

"We're meant to be salt of the earth, down to earth, grassroots, bloody good guys," he told the Sunday News.

"You don't pose bloody nude, or get a painting of yourself in the nude.

"Hell's teeth, he must think he's pretty good. He must be well-proportioned. Is he? I'd be bloody nervous it would shrivel away."

Oliver is well-known for his fondness for art.