'Adagio' reflects Roberts' great love of music during the 1890s, when he attended regular musical soireés and counted musicians amongst his friends and portrait subjects. Representing a brief divergence from his generally realist approach, it shows the influence of the European Symbolists who were inspired by the idea of a relationship between musical and pictorial expression. Like them, Roberts aimed to encourage contemplation: evoking ideas and feelings which could not be expressed through a more literal transcription of reality.
Girl with Violin
Place where the work was made
oil on paperboard
25.4 x 50.6 cm board; 24.0 x 49.4 cm sight edge; 44.4 x 69.8 x 3.6 cm frame
Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Where the work was made
Shown in 8 exhibitions
Society of Artists Spring Exhibition (1899), Vickery's Chambers, Sydney, Aug 1899 -
Exhibition and sale of paintings by Tom Roberts, previous to his leaving Australia., Society of Artists, Sydney, 14 Nov 1900 -
A most important collection of valuable works of art, James R. Lawson Pty Ltd, 28 Apr 1947 -
Golden Summers - Heidelberg and beyond:
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 30 Oct 1985–27 Jan 1986
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 21 Feb 1986–20 Apr 1986
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 09 May 1986–29 Jun 1986
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Australia 30 Jul 1986–14 Sep 1986
Tom Roberts (1996-1997):
- Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide 05 Oct 1996–17 Nov 1996
- Tasmanian Museum and Art Gallery, Hobart 30 Nov 1996–27 Jan 1997
- National Gallery of Victoria [St Kilda Road], Melbourne 12 Feb 1997–06 Apr 1997
- Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney 19 Apr 1997–01 Jun 1997
- Art Gallery of Western Australia, Australia 11 Jun 1997–27 Jul 1997
Australian icons: twenty artists from the collection, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 04 Aug 2000–03 Dec 2000
Tom Roberts Festival (2001), Inverell Art Gallery, Inverell, 27 Apr 2001–06 May 2001
Nocturne: images of night and darkness from colonial to contemporary, Mornington Peninsula Regional Gallery, Mornington, 23 Apr 2002–16 Jun 2002
Referenced in 14 publications
John Buckley (Curator), Nocturne: images of night and darkness from colonial to contemporary, Mornington, 2002, 10, 11 (colour illus.), 28. no catalogue numbers
Jane Clark, Golden summers: Heidelberg and beyond, 'Sydney Harbour', pg. 150-152, Melbourne, 1985, 167 (colour illus.), 168.
Inverell Art Gallery, Tom Roberts Art Exhibition. Tom Roberts Festival 2001, Inverell, 2001, 2. cat.no. 1
James R. Lawson Pty Ltd, Catalogue of a most important collection of valuable works of art, Sydney, 1947, 33. lot.no. 412
Susan McCulloch-Uelin, The Weekend Australian, 'Lunar dreaming', pg. R16-R17., Sydney, 20 Apr 2002-21 Apr 2002, R17 (illus.).
Humphrey McQueen, Tom Roberts, 'The fortunes of Tom Roberts', pg. 20, Adelaide, 1996, 32, 33 (colour illus.).
Denise Mimmocchi, Australian Symbolism: the art of dreams, ‘Dreams of the bohemian idyll: Charles Conder and his impact’, pg. 90-110, Sydney, 2012, 105, 108 (colour illus.), 147.
Society of Artists, Society of Artists Spring Exhibition, 'Oil section', pg. 5-16, Sydney, 1899, 6. cat.no. 69
Virginia Spate, Tom Roberts, 'Roberts' figure-paintings', pg. 72-103, Melbourne, 1978, 73, 84 (colour illus.), 97-99, 101, 103. plate no. 28
Daniel Thomas, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Tom Roberts', pg. 466-487, Sydney, Jul 1969, 478 (illus.).
Helen Topliss, Tom Roberts 1856-1931: a catalogue raisonné. Volume 1 - Text, Melbourne, 1985, 129, 130. cat.no. 212
Helen Topliss, Tom Roberts 1856-1931: a catalogue raisonné. Volume 2 - Plates, Melbourne, 1985, (colour illus.). plate no. 96
Wayne Tunnicliffe and Deborah Edwards, Look, ‘New Australia’, pg. 24-27, Sydney, May 2012, 39 (colour illus.).
Editor Unknown (Editor), Exhibition and sale of paintings by Tom Roberts, previous to his leaving Australia., Sydney, Nov 1900. titled 'Girl with Violin'; cat.no. 5; priced 5 guineas