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Shearing the Rams

Shearing the Rams
Media Portrait Subject Landscape Author Tom Roberts Year released 1890 Genres Australian History

About the Print

Shearing the Rams depicts sheep shearers plying their trade in a timber shearing shed. Distinctly Australian in character, the painting is a celebration of pastoral life and work, especially "strong, masculine labour", and recognises the role that the wool industry played in the development of the country.

One of the best-known and most-loved paintings in Australia, Shearing the Rams has been described as a "masterpiece of Australian impressionism," and "the great icon of Australian popular art history". It forms part of the National Gallery of Victoria's Australian art collection, held at the Ian Potter Centre in Federation Square, Melbourne.

The print is glazed, in good condition. The frame is stained timber with gold emboss and measures approx. 0.95M wide x 0.65M tall.

About the Artist


Thomas William "Tom" Roberts (8 March 1856 – 14 September 1931) was an English-born Australian artist and a key member of the Heidelberg School art movement, also known as Australian impressionism.

After attending art schools in Melbourne, he travelled to Europe in 1881 to further his training, and returned home in 1885, "primed with whatever was the latest in art". He did much to promote en plein air painting and encouraged other artists to capture the national life of Australia. While he is best known for his "national narratives"—among them Shearing the Rams (1890), A break away! (1891) and Bailed Up (1895)—he also achieved renown as a portraitist, and in 1903 completed The Big Picture, the most famous visual representation of the first Australian Parliament.