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An image of Portrait of Florence by Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts

(England, Australia 08 Mar 1856 – 14 Sep 1931)

Portrait of Florence
Other titles:
Florence Greaves
Place of origin
SydneyNew South WalesAustralia
(circa 1898)
Media category
Materials used
oil on canvas on paperboard

66.6 x 38.7 cm stretcher; 77.5 X 49.0 x 7.0 cm frame

Signature & date
Not signed. Not dated.
Bequest of Florence Turner Blake 1959
Accession number
Not on display
Further information

One of his finest, most sensitive portraits, Roberts' 'Portrait of Florence' was one of a number of paintings that were inspired by pretty women and a delight in the decorative fashions of the day. Florence Greaves was a painter and former pupil of Roberts, whose father W.A.B. Greaves owned Newbold Station (north of Grafton, New South Wales) where Roberts painted 'A mountain muster' 1897.

While highlighting Roberts’ ability to position and light his subjects to best advantage – a skill he had acquired during his time as a studio photographer – the delicate palette, particular attention to flesh colour and use of black, reveal influences from Whistler and Velásquez that Roberts had absorbed during his visit to England and the continent in 1882-1884.

Bibliography (16)

Robert Campbell, Paintings of Tom Roberts, Adelaide, 1962, 16, 17 (colour illus.). not paginated

Inverell Art Gallery, Tom Roberts Art Exhibition. Tom Roberts Festival 2001, Inverell, 2001, 2. 3

Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, 19th century Australian watercolours, drawing and pastels from the Gallery's collection, Sydney, 2005, 120 (colour illus.).

Patrick H McCarthy, Bailed up: the story behind the painting, Sydney, 2006, 14-15.

Alan McCulloch, The golden age of Australian painting - Impressionism and the Heidelberg school, 'Tom Roberts', pg. 150-167, Melbourne, 1969, 77, 78 (colour illus.). plate no. 38A

Hal Missingham, A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Sydney, 1953. 59

Hal Missingham (Director), Purchases and acquisitions for 1959, Sydney, 1959, 12-13, 40-41 (illus.). 22

Virginia Spate, Tom Roberts, Melbourne, 1978, 116 (illus.), 117, 149. 41

William Splatt and Barbara Burton, 100 masterpieces of Australian painting, Adelaide, 1973, 92-93 (colour illus.). plate no. 43

Daniel Thomas, Art Gallery of New South Wales Quarterly, 'Tom Roberts', pg. 466-487, Sydney, Jul 1969, 476 (illus.), 477.

Helen Topliss, Tom Roberts 1856-1931: a catalogue raisonné. Volume 2 - Plates, Melbourne, 1985, (colour illus.). titled 'Florence Greaves'; plate no. 131

Helen Topliss, Tom Roberts 1856-1931: a catalogue raisonné. Volume 1 - Text, Melbourne, 1985, 153. titled 'Florence Greaves'; 292

Clive Turnbull, Jean Campbell and Daniel Thomas, Australian painting: colonial, impressionist, contemporary, Adelaide, 1962, 40. 48

Ronald Vickers., The Christian Science Monitor, 'Portrait of a lady', Boston, 22 Apr 1975, (illus.). Article featured in 'The Home Forum' section; page number unknown.

Peter Ward, The Australian Magazine, 'More or less than meets the eye', pg. 23-27, Surry Hills, 28 Sep 1996-29 Sep 1996, 25 (colour illus.).

The Adelaide Festival of Arts 1962: Special exhibitions at the National Gallery of South Australia, 'Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary', Adelaide, 1962. 55; not paginated

Exhibition history (6)

A retrospective exhibition of Australian painting, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 25 Sep 1953–25 Oct 1953

Purchases and Acquisitions for 1959, Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 26 Mar 1960–18 Apr 1960

Australian Painting: Colonial, Impressionist, Contemporary (1962-63):

Tom Roberts (1996-1997):

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