Born in Dorchester, England. Arrived in Melbourne in 1869 and attended the National Gallery School. He went abroad for further study and returned in 1885. Roberts made his headquarters at Box Hill with McCubbin and soon attracted Streeton with the idea of impressionism, which opposed the academic style of the popular painters of the time. In 1888 Roberts and Streeton were joined by Conder and together held the first impressionist exhibition in Melbourne. The exhibition provoked the wrath of the critics, but it attracted other artists to the gospel of impressionism. In 1901 Roberts went overseas, where he exhibited at the Academy, the Salon, etc. He returned to Australia in 1923.
Tom Roberts is one of the most prolific of the artists listed in our database, with the number of works offered for sale by auction since 1966 of 725, of which 502 (69%) were sold. The highest price recorded for the artist is $976,000 for Miss Minna Simpson (1886) sold by Sotheby's in May 2014. No works have been offered for sale this year, and the last sale we have recorded for the artist was in 2023. Works by Tom Roberts are held by the National Gallery of Australia, National Gallery of Victoria and a further nine major public national galleries (see list below).
Tom Roberts is listed in the following standard biographical references:
Could the second and subsequent works by this artist sold after June 9, 2010 for over $1,000 be liable for the Artists' Resale Royalty? More info…
No, ineligible. The artist has been deceased for more than 70 years.
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