Everything old is new again. The Queen Victoria Museum and Art Gallery has welcomed back five restored artworks by Tom Roberts to its collection.
General manger of creative arts and cultural services Tracy Puklowski said the artworks were beautiful examples of early Australian impressionist paintings.
"Until recently, four of the five oil paintings were undocumented in Tom Roberts' catalogue of works, making them a significant discovery that will strengthen the collective understanding of the school of impressionist art," she said.
The artworks were donated in 2019 from a private home collection and were sent to Melbourne earlier this year to be restored. Unfortunately, when COVID-19 struck, the pieces were unable to be worked on or sent home.
Senior curator of visual arts and design Ashleigh Whatling said the works had been well loved and on display their whole lives, just not publicly.
"It's a beautiful gesture from a member of the community," she said.
"They needed a lot of cleaning, there had been some paint loss...one in particular had been above a fireplace."
The artworks returned from conservation treatment after being assessed, cleaned and restored.
Ms Whatling said the details that had emerged on the paintings since their restorations were "beautiful".
"The skill and the research of conservators is just amazing and what they have been able to do to revive these paintings is really impressive."
The works will sit in Gallery 8 in the Art Gallery at Royal Park until the third week of January. They will be taken down and then put back on the walls in the Art Gallery Rehang in mid 2021.
The five works are as follows:
- Pelargoniums, 1930, oil on canvas
- Untitled, 1922, oil on canvas
- Woodlands, 1926, oil on canvas
- Farm, Mt Roland, Tasmania, 1930, oil on canvas
- Untitled, 1930, oil on canvas