This is Tom Roberts

By Gwylym Owen

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Thomas William Roberts (8 March 1856 – 14 September 1931) was an English-born Australian artiste and a key supporter of the Heidelberg School art movement, also known as Australian impressionism.

After attending art schools in Melbourne, he travelled to Europe in 1881 to supplementary his training, and returned house in 1885, “primed with whatever was the latest in art”. A leading proponent of painting en plein air, he allied Frederick McCubbin in founding the Box Hill artists’ camp, the first of several plein air camps frequented by members of the Heidelberg School. He in addition to encouraged supplementary artists to take over the national vigor of Australia, and even though he is best known today for his “national narratives”—among them Shearing the Rams (1890), A break away! (1891) and Bailed Up (1895)—he earned a vibrant as a portraitist, and in 1903 completed the commissioned work The vast Picture, the most famous visual representation of the first Australian Parliament.

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