Tom Roberts: 12 works

A slideshow of artworks auto-selected from multiple collections

By Google Arts & Culture

Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong) Practising the Minuet (Miss Hilda Spong) by Tom RobertsNational Portrait Gallery

'Hired by the Brough and Boucicault Comedy Company, in 1888 he moved to Melbourne, where he quickly fell in with Arthur Streeton and Tom Roberts (who soon painted Hilda's mother, née Elizabeth Tweddell).'

A Sunday afternoon (c1886) by Tom ROBERTSNational Gallery of Australia, Canberra

'Roberts's observant eye has resulted in such small details in this scene as the trail of smoke from the man's pipe, the dark wine bottle on the crisp white cloth and the light falling softly on the leaves of the eucalypts. 1 Leigh Astbury, 'Memory and desire: Box Hill 1855--88', in Terence Lane (ed.), Australian impressionism, Melbourne: National Gallery of Victoria, 2007, p. 51.'

Mrs L. A. Abrahams (1888) by Tom RobertsNational Gallery of Victoria

'Roberts had been a witness at their wedding in Sydney on 21 March 1888 and, upon their return to Melbourne, is said to have painted this portrait as a wedding present. The flowers suggest winter or spring, and the setting is Roberts's studio in Grosvenor Chambers, the purpose-built art centre that had opened at the top of Collins Street, Melbourne, in April 1888.'

Shearing the rams (1890) by Tom RobertsNational Gallery of Victoria

'Tom Roberts is quoted in the Argus in 1890 as saying: It seems to me that one of the best words spoken to an artist is, 'Paint what you love and love what you paint', and on that I have worked; and so it came that being in the bush and feeling the delight and fascination of the great pastoral life and work I have tried to express it.'

Evening train to Hawthorn (circa 1889) by Tom RobertsArt Gallery of New South Wales

'- The 9 by 5 Exhibition of Impressions catalogue 1889 'The national game' and Tom Roberts' 'Evening train to Hawthorn' are two of the 182 'Impressions' that were exhibited in the influential '9 by 5 Exhibition of Impressions' held at Buxton's Gallery in Swanston Street, Melbourne, in August 1889.'

The Golden Fleece (1894) by Tom RobertsArt Gallery of New South Wales

'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.'

Harbourscape (c.1890s) by Tom ROBERTSNational Gallery of Australia, Canberra

'Roberts worked in Sydney for much of the 1890s, living on the shore of Sydney Harbour at Curlew Camp, Little Sirius Cove, from 1891 until his marriage in April 1896, moving to Balmain in 1897. The thick impasto of the paint corresponds with Roberts's work of this period.'

Portrait of George Selth Coppin (circa 1895-1899) by Tom RobertsNational Portrait Gallery

'Tom Roberts (1856--1931) came to Australia from England at the age of thirteen, but returned to study art in London.'

Hutt Valley (1900) by Tom RobertsTe Papa

'Their cool palette of greys and blues captures Days Bay and the lights of Petone township, and echoes Roberts' perception of New Zealand as 'that land of Cool Air, Purple Mountains and Lakes'.(1) Their luscious brushstrokes, influenced by James McNeill Whistler, demonstrate how the quickly applied paint was more important than detailed scenery.'

Opening of the first Parliament of the Australian Commonwealth, 9th May 1901 (1903) by Tom Roberts and Goupil & Cie (engraver)National Portrait Gallery

'Tom Roberts's painting of the opening of the first Australian Federal Parliament at the Exhibition Building in Melbourne in 1901 contains 269 individual portraits. Roberts was paid nearly 2000 guineas to complete the work -- a feat which took two and a half years and required numerous individual sittings with subjects in Melbourne, Sydney, London and elsewhere.'

Portrait of Mrs Tom Roberts (1910) by Tom RobertsNational Portrait Gallery

'Two years after Lillie's death in 1928, Roberts remarried; his second wife, Jean Boyes, was one of Lillie's oldest friends. This work is one of few existing paintings by Roberts known to be framed in a frame designed and carved by his wife.'

Bailed up (1895, 1927) by Tom RobertsArt Gallery of New South Wales

'Roberts modelled the figures on Inverell townspeople, including stagecoach driver 'Silent Bob Bates' who had been held up by local bushranger 'Captain Thunderbolt' three decades earlier.'

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