An image of The Golden Fleece

Tom Roberts

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

The Golden Fleece

Other titles:
Shearing at Newstead (The Golden Fleece), Golden Fleece (Shearing at Newstead), Shearing at Newstead, The Golden Fleece: shearing at Newstead
19th c Australian art
Further information

Tom Roberts painted 'The Golden Fleece' while staying at Newstead Station in the New England tablelands of northern NSW. It is part of a series in which Roberts payed homage to rural life and pastoral industry, and captured vanishing traditions such as the use of manual shears.

Originally called 'Shearing at Newstead', this painting was renamed to reference the Greek myth in which the Argonauts voyage to the end of the world in search of the Golden Fleece. The title reflects Roberts' creation of the rural worker as 'hero', and his evocation of Australia as an Arcadian land of pastoral plenty.

The work's frame is attributed to John Thallon, the famous 19th-century Melbourne carver and gilder, and was restored in 2010.

Place of origin
Inverell, New South Wales, Australia
oil on canvas
104.0 x 158.7 cm stretcher; 134.5 x 189.0 x 9.5 cm frame
Signature & date

Signed l.r. corner, red/brown oil "TOM ROBERTS.".
Dated l.l. corner, red/brown oil "... 94".

Purchased 1894
Accession number