An image of The camp, Sirius Cove

Tom Roberts

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

The camp, Sirius Cove

19th c Australian art
Further information

This tiny work belatedly records the artists' encampment at Little Sirius Cove, Sydney Harbour, which Tom Roberts and Arthur Streeton shared with others in the early 1880s. The camps became centres for the innovative practice of plein-air painting, which took artists from their studios to work on canvases outdoors.

Roberts depicts his former painting haunt as an idyllic memory, albeit with a photographically sharp focus. It is flawlessly constructed and crisply executed to recall the brightly sunlit scene. Although the artists’ camp is long gone, Roberts’ view of the headland is still recognisable today, close to the present site of Taronga Park Zoo on the Sydney Harbour foreshore.

Place of origin
Sydney, New South Wales, Australia
oil on canvas on paperboard
25.4 x 34.6 cm board; 24.7 x 33.2 cm sight edge; 44.5 x 53.0 x 5.3 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.l., red oil "Tom Roberts/ '(illeg)".

Purchased 1940
Accession number