Creswick, Victoria, Australia 1879 – Springwood, New South Wales, Australia 1969

  • England, Europe 1909-11


Clunes, Victoria, Australia 1862 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1941

  • France, Spain 1888-95
  • Australia 1895- 1901
  • England 1901-11
  • Australia from 1911

[Invitation] Opening of the Parliament of the Commonwealth by his Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall and York. 1901 Place made: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia
Materials & Technique: prints, ink; paper lithograph, printed in colour inks, from multiple stones [or plates] Support: paper
Manufacturer's Mark: no manufacturer's mark
Edition State: published state
Impression: undesignated impression
Edition: print run unknown

Dimensions: printed image 28.0 h x 35.2 w cm sheet 29.4 h x 36.2 w cm
Acknowledgement: Purchased 1981
Accession No: NGA 81.118
  • Tom Roberts. (see inscription)
  • R.H. Croll (friend and biographer of the artist).
  • KCollection of Keith Kingrove (1910-1995), who formed a major collection of material relating to Norman Lindsay (1879-1969) and the art of Bookplates.
  • Purchased by the Australian National Gallery, from Keith Wingrove, Highgate, South Australia, February 1981.
  • This invitation to the Ceremony of the Opening of the Parliament of the Commonwealth is addressed to the artist Tom Roberts.

    John Longstaff and Norman Lindsay designed the invitation together, to symbolise the strong connection between England and Australia.

    Britannia stands under an oak tree on the left, behind her the white cliffs of Dover fade into the distance. Above her, Justice sits within a golden aura illuminated by the Southern Cross. On the right, completing the triumvirate, the young unadorned Australia stands in a vast sheep paddock under a eucalypt tree. In her hand she holds a scroll entitled 'The Constitution of the Commonwealth of Australia'.

    Along the lower edge of the invitation the coatsofarms of the six newly federated states are flanked by those of Britain and the new Commonwealth of Australia. The invitation was important to Tom Roberts, not just as a souvenir of an historic event, but as a means for him to witness and later paint the large canvas of the ceremony itself.

    Text © National Gallery of Australia, Canberra