Edward DS Ogilvie1894–95

by Tom Roberts

As one of the founders of the Heidelberg School and well known for his iconic Australian landscapes, Tom Roberts is often overlooked as a skilled portraitist. English-born pastoralist Edward Ogilvie commissioned Roberts to paint this accomplished, richly coloured portrait at Ogilvie’s extensive Clarence River property, Yulgilbar, north of Grafton. 

Roberts described 80-year-old Ogilvie as ‘The Chief’, mentally alert, a military-type in mind and physique. He considered the portrait to be ‘more solid than anything I’ve done’.

Ogilvie had the portrait framed in this carved and gilded late-17th-century Florentine frame, probably brought back to Australia from one of his trips to Italy.