What a great day we had at the art gallery. It was my first time there. I was in awe of all the paintings. I was able to see Australia through the eyes of the early white Australians. Then I could see the very different way the Aborigines did their paintings.
Our blog this week is to pick a painting that spoke to us. I picked “Bailed Up” by Tom Roberts. When I was a young girl we were told many stories about family members. One story that stands out the most is this.
There was a young couple who had married. They went to Melbourne, in their own buggy, for their honeymoon. They had been travelling for days. One day they were held up by bushrangers. They told them to take everything they had, but please spare their life. The bushranger asked them what they were doing. He explained they were on their honeymoon. The bushranger then gave them the money and items back with a little extra money and told them to go on their way. Then they heard “Have a long and happy life.” At the next town, they told people what had happened to them and were told: “that sounds like the Kelly Gang.” They were so grateful and never saw them again.
Bailed Up By Tom Roberts (1895)
This painting stood out to me because as a child I loved the stories of bushrangers. In year 6 our teacher read the story of Captain Thunderbolt. He made us feel like we were in the story. From then on I have been interested in the history of bushrangers.
In the painting, I see a bright sunny day. The landscape is rugged and brown. A tree has been put across the track. I can see the wealthy in the stagecoach and they are being held up. This must have been a terrifying time for them, even though Roberts has made them look like they are very calm and casual. They look like they are having a nice chat with them. They don’t look worried or scared. The bushrangers don’t look hard or threatening. In this time in Australia there were only two types of people, the rich and the poor. So to help keep them surviving the men have been made to rob from the rich to buy food and things they need. To me, it is a Robin Hood story.
Roberts has made this painting look bright, even though it is mainly in browns, it is more colourful then some other paintings we have seen. This is a typical way we see early Australia in the early days. There is no aggressiveness and Roberts has put the romance in the painting. To me, this is a beautiful painting.