Sketches/Watercolors from Tomhu Huron Roberts Collection

Toronto History
Vancouver History/Photos
Oil Paintings
Sketches and Watercolors (Loose pages double sided originally from large sketch books)
Some Paintings at the bottom of the page.

Landscape Inspired by Constable (pg 18)
11" x 7 1/2"Watercolor
First Snow (pg 18)
7 1/2" x 8 5/8"Watercolor
Women in Cemetery/Peaceful Moments (pg 19)
7 1/4" x 5 5/8"Watercolor
Country Road/Clouds
9 3/8" x 11 1/2" (pg 20)Watercolor and Ink
(pg 20)
"9 3/8 x 11 1/2"Pencil and Watercolor
Bridge by the Blue Mountain (pg22)
5 1/8" x 7 1/4"Watercolor
Self Portrait (pg23)
5" x 8"Charcoal on Paper
Wood/Sky (pg25)
12 1/2" x 10"Ink and Pencil
Red River (pg 26)
"15x 71/4" Ink and Pencil
Fir Tree (pg 26)
"15x 71/4" Ink and Pencil
Bridge over the Red River (pg 26)
"8 3/4" x15"Pencil
/Thumb Sketches (pg 26)
"8 3/4" x15"Pencil
<Twin Trees (pg 28)
10 1/2" x 9 1/2" Ink
Cloudy Day/3 O'clock Storm Clouds (pg 29)
12 1/2" x 10"Watercolor and Pencil
Morning after the Rain/Horses (pg 29)
12 3/4" x 9 1/2"Ink and Pencil
Classical Figures (pg 30)
12 3/4" x 10"Pencil
Studies For Portraits (pg 32)
"6 3/4 x 12 1/4"Pencil/Ink
"6 3/4 x 12 1/4"Pencil/Ink
The Old Man and Boy (34)
81/2x 101/2 ink

"Tomtu Roberts seem to have been the first artist to live in Vancouver and make a living as an artist. The Robert's family came to the city in 1885 and he and his father fought the fire firsthand in 1886 with a later reult of injuries to his eyes. One of his first sketches (obviously named after the event) would of been "Vancouver before the Fire." His work marks the end of the topographical era, using colours in an emotion- provoking way which would have been novel in British Columbia at the time" - "Artists Overland" - Burnaby Art Gallery

"Roberts was a good portrait painter and, since he was popular in this field in the day, it is quite likely that his paintings of people will have historical as well as artistic value. " - Canadian artist's life mysterious- "CanadiAntiquer" (newspaper) April 1983

Harper claims that H Tomtu Roberts (1858-1938) arrived in Vancouver about 1886 and "dared to advertise himself as an artist". It is evidence to suggest that at least some individuals in the new city were interested in the arts." "From Fine Arts in Vancouver"(thesis) 1886-1930 Thom William W 709-711T45F

"They are little gems, Even more exciting were the numerous portrait studies and figure sketches. This artist had a most penetrating eye and seemed to be able to catch not only the character and personality of his sitter or subject but also his stance whether it be charcoal or pencil or ink and pencil, he was a most accomplished draftsman. The various drawing around early days in Toronto were most impressive but I was far more fascinated with the works from the Prairies and West Coast. Possibly the most fascinating aspect are his written notes on painting and color and his various observations in art. He must of been a most interesting teacher and it would be intriguing to explore who his pupils were and what influence he may of had on the West Coast."H.Patton, Fine Arts Consultant, Toronto

"He had incredible optimism to dare advertise as an artist, one wonders where he could expect to find patrons. Small oil landscaped in the Vancouver City Museum picture tall Douglas firs still growing on Granville St. He loved landscaped with atmospheric effects: on grey days, for example, he could obtain greater illusions of depth by sharp forground against vague distance." "The New Dominion" (book) 1867-1910


Roberts, one of the earliest of the mainland's settlers, was searching for an accomodation of his traditional style to aspects of the landscape that were new to the experience." - The late nineteenth cnetury saw the opening of the transcontinental railway and a great influx of settlers and exuberant artists to the West Coast from Europe and eastern Canada. -(Also in this book is misinformation about Tomtu as being from Wales as was known later the father dairies indicate him born in Collinwood, Ontario but they did go to Wales when he was a infant but ending up coming back to Canada to live in Toronto and then Vancouver" "From Desolation to Splendor" (book) Maria Tippett & Douglas Cole

"He was influenced by the artist John Constable. The pages of his notebooks are filled with on-line sketches, especially of changing skies, and notations about the angle of the sun and exact colorations. These give a rare insight in the man and his preoccupation with his work, and are much more powerful that the finished oil paintings. "The Marketing of a Gentleman artist" - Tomtu H. Roberts -(news article) Brenda

8 1/2" x 10 1/2"Ink
Country Scene (page 7)
10 1/2" x 14 3/8" Oil on canvas Signed and dated
Coastal Cottage (page 8) 12 13/16" x 17 3/4" Oil on canvas
Indian Woman Walking on the Ties (pg 12)
10 15/16 " x 14" Oil on Academy Board
Camp Story (page 13)
13 1/4" x 17" Oil and canvas
Portrait of a Man (Charles Steele) (page 15)
5" x 7 1/16" Oil on academy board
Abandoned Railway (page 16)
7 1/8" x 11 5/16" Oil on academy board
Sketches: a few selected from Roberts Collection