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Biographical Notes on Robert Roche
Categories of Works - Mexican and Peruvian Indians, Rural South and Dust Bowl, Amish and Mennonites, Famous Americans, People of New England, Thoroughbred Racing, Still Life
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Winging In - A classic example of Sporting Art


Thoroughbred Racing

Robert Roché, being an avid horseman, always drew and painted horses from life for his own enjoyment.  As time went by, these paintings become very popular with collectors and were purchased as soon as they were painted.

Then, in October 1959 his paintings and drawings were brought to the attention of the President and Chairman of the Board of the The New York Racing Association, namely, Edward T. Dickinson and John W. Hanes

Winging In
This is a large, powerful painting done at Aqueduct Race Track in 1963.


Shortly thereafter they commissioned him to do a series of Saratoga Race Track (New York), to be painted on location, going from early morning exercise to the winner's circle.  The fourteen paintings were done in 1960.   
Second Jump First Jump

The Second Jump

The First Jump

"The First Jump" and "The Second Jump" were done at Belmont Race Track.  The three paintings shown here show the speed, power and color of racing as it really is.


Roché then was commissioned to paint "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, the great horse trainer, who was painted from life outside his training office at the "Oklahoma" exercise track at Saratoga.  This was followed by a commission to paint the famous race horse, Man O' War, half-life size, for the Man O' War Room at Aqueduct Race Track. The N.Y.R.A. also purchased six oil studies for the painting. 

The following year, he was commissioned to do ten paintings of Belmont Race Track (NY).  Five were done in June and five in October, to capture the seasonal colors of the beautiful old track.

Four of the Saratoga series were selected and reproduced by the N.Y.R.A., in a set entitled "Paintings of Old Saratoga Race Track", which were and are still being sold at the Museum of Racing, Saratoga Springs, New York.

In his inventory are several paintings that were completed between commissions during this period, 1959-1963.  One is a second portrait from life of "Sunny Jim" Fitzsimmons, a portrait from life of Eddie Arcaro, horse, track and barn subjects on location at Saratoga, Belmont and Aqueduct Race Tracks. 

The National Museum of Racing in Saratoga Springs, NY held an exhibit of Mr. Roché's works entitled "A Retrospective of the N.Y.R.A. Racing Years 1959-1965".  The exhibit, October of 2000 to May 2001, included racing related paintings and drawings from his personal collection, and some paintings of his from the New York Racing Association collection.

 

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