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recto: Arthur Streeton (Study for 'Smike Streeton age 24') verso: (study of a veiled woman)

(circa 1891)


Tom Roberts

England, Australia

08 Mar 1856 – 14 Sep 1931

Artist profile

  • Details

    (circa 1891)
    Media category
    Materials used
    pencil on cream wove paper
    32.8 x 24.3 cm sheet
    Signature & date

    Not signed. Not dated.

    Purchased 1998
    Not on display
    Accession number

    Reproduction requests

    Artist information
    Tom Roberts

    Artist profile

    Works in the collection


  • About

    This is a rare study for the much admired painted portrait 'Smike Streeton, age 24', 1891, purchased by the Gallery in 1945. It has the acuity of observation and immediacy of a study from life, lacking in a larger charcoal drawing Roberts made of Streeton in 1890 and purchased by the Gallery in 1934. The close association between Roberts and Streeton, as two of the most important Australian artists of the late nineteenth and early twentieth centuries, alone highlights the art historical value of this drawing. On its verso is a study of a female figure in a cloak.

    R H Croll (1869-1947), librarian, senior public servant and writer, was Roberts' first biographer - 'Tom Roberts, father of Australian landscape painting' (1935). Croll also edited the first publication of Streeton's letters - 'Smike to bulldog' (1946). The Australian watercolour painter Len Annois (1906-66) was also a previous owner of the drawing.

    excerpt from Hendrik Kolenberg, Anne Ryan and Patricia James, '19th century Australian watercolours, drawings & pastels in the Gallery's collection', Art Gallery of New South Wales, Sydney, 2005

  • Exhibition history

    Shown in 2 exhibitions

  • Bibliography

    Referenced in 2 publications

Other works by Tom Roberts

See all 46 works