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"On The Docks" (1904)

watercolour & gouache

34 x 25cm

signed lower right

*gift to Sydney Long

*private collection, Sydney


 Frederick James Martyn Roberts is forgotten Australian Impressionist. He received his early training at the School of Arts in Brisbane before enrolling at Julian Ashton School in Sydney. He spent a short time in Sydney during the 1890s under the tutelage of Julian Ashton, & painted en plein air with a number of other members of Sydney’s avant-garde, before returning to Brisbane. Roberts’s style attracted much local attention in Brisbane, & many years later it was regretted that he had not been able to paint more prolifically, due to his teaching commitments at the Brisbane Technical College. He was also President of the Queensland Art Society for many years, & exhibited with them regularly for many decades. Roberts was a major influence on students & artists in Brisbane. He began teaching in 1894 at the South Brisbane Technical College & was appointed Supervisor of the Arts Department at the Central Technical College in 1916 following the resignation of R Godfrey Rivers. Roberts held this position until his retirement in 1936 despite widespread public agitation to have his appointment extended. Noted artists among his pupils at the Technical College were Lloyd Rees & Daphne Mayo. "He was somewhat in advance of his time … had the opportunity been his to continue more as a practising painter than as a tutor he would have held a place to-day with Streeton, Gruner, & Lambert. His work & that of Streeton was [sic] very similar in those far-off days." His Impressionist masterpiece "Evening (Mt. Coot-tha From Dutton Park)" (1898) is a cherished part of the Queensland Art Gallery Collection!!


This stunning original watercolour was a gift to legendary Australian artist, Sydney Long (1871-1955). On the back bears the inscription "Sid Long from F.J.M. Roberts, with many apologies"...

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