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Tom Roberts
Tom Roberts.jpg
Portrait taken c.1920–1925
Born 9 March 1856
Died 14 September 1931(1931-09-14) (aged 75)
'Talisman' in Kallista, Australia
Resting place Illawarra churchyard, near Longford, Tasmania, Australia
Other names Nickname Bulldog
Occupation Artist
Elizabeth (Lillie) Williamson (m. 1896–1928)

Jean Boyes (m. 1928–1931)
Parent(s) Richard Roberts, Matilda

Thomas William "Tom" Roberts (9 March 1856 – 14 September 1931) was an Anglo-Australian artist. He was an important member of the Heidelberg School.


Roberts parents were newspaper editors. The family moved to Australia in 1869. They lived in Collingwood. He worked as a photographer's assistant through the 1870s. He studied art at night under Louis Buvelot. He became friends with Frederick McCubbin. He returned to England for three years of full-time art study at the Royal Academy Schools from 1881 to 1884.

Through the 1880s and 1890s he worked in Victoria. He married 35 year old Elizabeth (Lillie) Williamson in 1896. They had a son, Caleb. Many of his most famous paintings come from this period.

He spent World War I in England helping at a hospital. In Australia, he built a house at Kallista, near Melbourne. This was a happy period in Roberts' life.

Elizabeth died in January 1928. Tom remarried, to Jean Boyes, in August 1928. He died in 1931 of cancer in Kallista near Melbourne. He is buried near near Longford, Tasmania.


Roberts painted a lot of fine oil landscapes and portraits. His most famous works, in his time, were two large works, Shearing the Rams and The Big Picture. Roberts had a theme of showing country people working. Many examples of Roberts' work can be seen at the National Gallery of Australia. The Big Picture is at Parliament House, Canberra.

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