Creswick, Victoria, Australia 1879 – Springwood, New South Wales, Australia 1969
Clunes, Victoria, Australia 1862 – Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 1941
[Invitation] Opening of the Parliament of the Commonwealth by his Royal Highness The Duke of Cornwall and York.
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
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