Tom Roberts (1856-1931) is generally … But many who have admired the painting would have no idea that it was painted at Brocklesby Station, about 16 kilometres west of Corowa in rural New South Wales. Tom Roberts, First sketch of Shearing the rams (1888), gouache and pencil on brown paper on cardboard, 22.0 x 29.9 cm, National Gallery of Victoria, Purchased 1974. Digital Subscription to Essentials Magazine Australia. Roberts wanted to express the difficulty and fast working shearing process, and the physical masculinity is portrayed with the frequent arched bending of the shearers spread down into the depths of the shed. Australian artist Tom Roberts painted Shearing the Rams in 1890, now 130 years later a mural is introducing an old masterpiece to a new generation. Perhaps the most famous in his time were two large paintings, Shearing the Rams, now displayed in the National Gallery of Victoria and The Big Picture, displayed in Parliament House, Canberra. In 2020, to celebrate the 130 th anniversary of “Shearing the Rams”, a large mural of the iconic painting reproduced by Tracy Hancock was unveiled at the Federation Museum. Shearing the rams hangs alongside AGWA’s own Down on his luck by Frederick McCubbin, and gives you a rare opportunity to see these two great nationalistic narrative paintings side-by-side. Shearing the Rams is an 1890 painting by the Australian artist Tom Roberts. Tom Roberts: Shearing the rams 1890 When Tom Roberts painted Shearing the rams , he wanted to create a painting that would represent Australian life. For 130 years, Shearing the Rams has captured a moment in time that has been repeated in hundreds of shearing sheds across the country thousands of times. “Shearing the Rams” by Tom Roberts was painted in 1890 and depicted the Shearing of the sheep in a timber shearing shed. Tom Roberts, Shearing the Rams, 1888-90 Painted at Brocklesby station, Corowa, NSW and Melbourne Oil on canvas mounted on board 121.9 x 182.6 cm. Like ‘Shearing the Rams’, it is a work of great activity, that shows strong masculine labour, coupled with the patience of animals. His image of men hard at work in a shearing station has endured since as a symbol of iconic national values like hard work and mateship, and of the characters who live and work in country Australia. Roberts painted a considerable number of fine oil landscapes and portraits, some painted at artist camps with his friend McCubbin. painted in 1923; oil on canvas; size: 72.5 - 50.3cm; private collection; History: In this work, Tom Roberts depicts the crushed rock surfacing of the Kallista-Emerald Road. The painting depicts sheep shearers plying their trade in a timber shearing shed. Please Support Australian Journalism Your contribution to the longevity of Australian journalism is important to us. Tom Roberts' Shearing the rams portrays a romantic version of Australia unfamiliar to many of us now.

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