The Artists

Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts Letter to S.W. Pring about 'The Big Picture'

On 9 May 1901 Tom Roberts attended the opening of the First Federal Parliament in Melbourne.

His contract to paint the event, 'The Big Picture' was signed on 20 May, and he was provided for this purpose, with a studio in the Melbourne Exhibition Building.

For the next two years he continued working on portraits in 'The Big Picture', and on 17 March 1903, left Melbourne with his family to work on a number of portraits needed to complete 'The Big Picture'.

On 16 November 1903, he completed his commission of 'The Big Picture' - the 'Opening of the First Parliament of the Commonwealth of Australia by H.R.H. The Duke of Cornwall and York, May 9, 1901', 1903.

View the letter Tom Roberts wrote about 'The Big Picture' to S.W. Pring from his studio in the Exhibition Building, Melbourne. In the letter Roberts described the work as a '17 foot Frankenstein'.

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Left: Arthur Streeton - Above Us The Great Grave Sky, 1890
Collection: National Gallery of Australia, Canberra.

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