Why did Tom Roberts became famous?

Updated: 4/28/2022
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16y ago

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Tom Roberts was a major member of the Heidelberg School, a group of Australian artists influenced by the impressionists of the day. The Heidelberg School is important not merely for being excellent art but also in a historical sense as paintings showing the Australia of the time. These artists produced the first western art to realistically depict the Australian landscape as it actually is rather than show it in a Europeanized version. Roberts is particularly well known for two paintings, "The Big Picture", a painting of the 1901 opening of the Australian Parliament, and "Shearing The Rams", a painting of men shearing sheep. This painting was criticized for its impressionistic touches but was popular because wool exporting was such a huge part of the Australian economy. Many ordinary Australians could easily relate to the image shown. Roberts enjoyed painting on the theme of ordinary people at work.

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