The Golden Fleece

Tom Roberts1894

Art Gallery of New South Wales

Art Gallery of New South Wales
Sydney, Australia

Tom Roberts painted 'The Golden Fleece' while staying at Newstead Station in the New England tablelands of northern NSW. It is part of a series in which Roberts payed homage to rural life and pastoral industry, and captured vanishing traditions such as the use of manual shears.

Originally called 'Shearing at Newstead', this painting was renamed to reference the Greek myth in which the Argonauts voyage to the end of the world in search of the Golden Fleece. The title reflects Roberts' creation of the rural worker as 'hero', and his evocation of Australia as an Arcadian land of pastoral plenty.

The work's frame is attributed to John Thallon, the famous 19th-century Melbourne carver and gilder, and was restored in 2010.


  • Title: The Golden Fleece
  • Creator: Tom Roberts
  • Date Created: 1894
  • Location: Inverell, New South Wales, Australia
  • Physical Dimensions: 104.0 x 158.7 cm stretcher; 134.5 x 189.0 x 9.5 cm frame
  • Type: Painting
  • Rights: Purchased 1894
  • Medium: oil on canvas
  • Signature & Date: Signed l.r. corner, red/brown oil "TOM ROBERTS.". Dated l.l. corner, red/brown oil "... 94".
  • Object Other Titles: Shearing at Newstead (The Golden Fleece); Golden Fleece (Shearing at Newstead); Shearing at Newstead; The Golden Fleece: shearing at Newstead
  • Artist Country: England, Australia

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