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“Miss Minna Simpson” by Tom Roberts

National Gallery of Australia - Joy of Museums - "Miss Minna Simpson" by Tom Roberts

“Miss Minna Simpson” by Tom Roberts

“Miss Minna Simpson” by Tom Roberts depicts the five-year-old niece of Tom Roberts’s future wife. The rosy-cheeked face looks directly at the viewer as she firmly holds her cat. There is a confident contrast between the child’s relaxed face and the cat’s scowling face and paws reaching for the bowl of milk.

Roberts’ tonal palette with the dark background sets off the white apron, bonnet and lace, pays homage to the much-admired international artists Manet, Whistler and to Velásquez.

Among the many masterpieces in the National Gallery of Australia, the following are highlights:

Miss Minna Simpson

  • Title:               Miss Minna Simpson
  • Artist:             Tom Roberts
  • Year:               1886
  • Medium:         Oil on canvas
  • Dimensions:   59.5 (h) x 49.5 (w) cm
  • Museum:        National Gallery of Australia

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) By GordonMakryllos (Own work) [CC BY-SA 4.0 (], via Wikimedia Commons