Adagio reflects Roberts' great love of music during the 1890s, when he attended regular musical soireés and counted musicians amongst his friends and portrait subjects. Representing a brief divergence from his generally realist approach, it shows the influence of the European Symbolists who were inspired by the idea of a relationship between musical and pictorial expression. Like them, Roberts aimed to encourage contemplation: evoking ideas and feelings which could not be expressed through a more literal transcription of reality.


  • Title: Adagio
  • Creator: Tom Roberts
  • Date Created: (circa 1893)
  • Physical Dimensions: 25.4 x 50.6 cm board; 24.0 x 49.4 cm sight edge; 44.4 x 69.8 x 3.6 cm frame
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchased 1947
  • Medium: oil on paperboard
  • Signature & Date: Not signed. Not dated.
  • Artist Country: Australia

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