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“A Break Away!” by Tom Roberts

Tom Roberts - A break away! - Google Art Project

A Break Away! by Tom Roberts

“A Break Away!” by Tom Roberts depicts a mob of thirsty sheep stampeding towards a dam for water. A drover on horseback is attempting to turn the mob before they crush and drown each other in their natural desire to drink.

This painting, an icon of Australian art, is part of a series of works by Tom Roberts that captured the emerging spirit of national identity in Australia during the 1890’s.

Roberts painted the work at Corowa, a town on the border between New South Wales and Victoria, Australia. The painting presents a time of drought, with little grass and the soil is just dust. The work itself is a reflection on the pioneering days of the pastoral industry, which were coming to an end by the early 1900’s.

A Break Away!

  • Title:               A breakaway!
  • Artist:             Tom Roberts
  • Year:               1891
  • Medium:        Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:  137.3 cm × 167.8 cm (54.1 in × 66.1 in)
  • Museum:       Art Gallery of South Australia, Adelaide

Tom Roberts

  • Name:                         Thomas William “Tom” Roberts
  • Born:                           1856 – Dorchester, Dorset, England
  • Died:                            1931 (aged 75) – Kallista, Victoria, Australia
  • Major Paintings:



” Some mistakes are too much fun to only make once.” Australian Proverb



Photo Credits: 1) Tom Roberts [Public domain], via Wikimedia Commons