Value Of Troye Pictures: Their Publication Projected and of Ineffable Value.; Horse Portraiture of the Highest Class Almost a Lost Art in America., Daily Racing Form, 1922-05-18


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VALUE OF TROYE PICTURES Their Publication Projected and of Ineffable Value Horse Portraiture of the Highest HighestClass Class Almost a Lost Art Artin in America BY SALVATOR SALVATORIt It is to be hoped that the plans which are now on foot for the publication of a book devoted to the life and work of Troye the horse portraitist will successfully mature and the volume in question come safely from the press We are being led to expect one in which a considerable number of his best can ¬ vases are to be reproduced with an adequate biographical and historical survey of his career and accomplishment accomplishmentThis This will not be the first time that such a thing has been projected however During the latter years of Troyes life subscription lists were publicly opened for the same pur ¬ pose No attempt was made toward the actual getting out of the book because the subscriptions came in so slowly that the scheme had to be abandoned The public for such an undertaking half a century ago was so limited as to make the idea an abor ¬ tive one Today conditions are different We have thousands of racers where we then had hundreds and while racing itself has become almost completely commercialized there are many people of taste and sentiment interested in its finer sides There ought to be enough of them to make a work on Troye possible possibleWhen When it is written however the error of overadulation should not be made by these who have the matter in hand The trouble with many books of this kind is that their heroes are magnified far beyond the life and the merits of their works proportionately exaggerated Troye was a remarkable per ¬ sonality as well as a remarkable painter of horses His career was replete with incident some of it decidedly adventurous and roman ¬ tic Historically in the record of American horse portraiture he occupies a very im ¬ portant place lie knew how to paint he knew horses intimately and he flourished in an era when many of the great fathers and mothers of the American Stud Book were in the flesh fleshGREAT GREAT HORSE PORTRAITURES PORTRAITURESHe He took A K Richards to the desert and helped him select the band of Arabians that this visionary enthusiast brought back from there He had hairbreadth escapes by flood and field anent which highly colored tales may be spun without violating the verities But by the same token his canvases are far from impeccable As a draughtsman often he was decidedly inferior his drawing never equaled his color He painted a host of famous horses both thoroughbreds and trot ¬ ters Scarcely one of these paintings but is valuable but many of them have grave faults At the same time they are in a sense precious documents worthy of the high ap ¬ preciation into which they gradually are com ¬ ing to be held heldHow How many many horse portraits I have been led up to by fond owners as to something holy and ineffable pearls of great price masterpieces of art and miracles of depiction And how seldom how extremely seldom have any of these articles proved worth a second glance For the most part either as art or as representations of life they have been well anything from atro ¬ cious to impossible I know of many a man who has expended thousands upon the acquisition of such canvases not one of which so far as anything but a blind in faturation could persuade was worthy to hang in an outhouse outhouseI I recall one of these gentlemen owner of a stallion celebrated especially for his beauty as well as the prowess of his get who had his pride and pet painted as large as life and twice yea three times as natural Though notable for his reluctance to part with the coin of the realm which he had amassed in immense quantities in this in ¬ stance he flung prudence to the winds and went in regardless of expense His idol was portrayed life size proudlly parading past the spectator at the end of a white bridlestrap led by a picturesque negro groom The particular artist concerned had in some mysterious manner as it were hypnotized the owner who gave him carte blanche in the commisisons carrying out But when the picture was completed so j huge was the satisfaction of its recipient that he appeared absolutely insensible to the terrible pull upon his leg that ensued ensuedPUBLICATION PUBLICATION MUCH DEEDED DEEDEDFor For the rest of his life this painting was the supremo art treasure of its owner He would spend hours in contemplation of it And after its original had passed to the happy hunting grounds and until he the man himself went to his last rest he was in the habit of sitting before it gazing gaz ¬ ing gazing in utter absorption upon it until at last the tears would gather in his eyes and flow down his cheeks while anyone who chanced to enter the room would tiptoe silently out of it as If to avoid some act of profanation profanationAnd And yet this picture was something that hardly escaped the category of the gro ¬ tesque It was unnatural to the nth degree as a portrait while from the standpoint of art is wast the last word almost in crudity and futility No living horse ever did or could havo looked like that any more than the Godolphin Arabian did like the far famed portrait that Stubbs perpetrated of him years after his death which to this day appears in all wellregulated Histories of the British Turf TurfPerhaps Perhaps it will be asserted that makes no matter If a portrait proves a lifesolace to the owner of its original until at last he comes absolutely to worship it is not its best and most imperious function ful ¬ filled In a sense yes But the trouble is that after the fond owners death the fearful and wonderful portrait descends to posterity unless a kind providence inter ¬ venes and a holocaust or a flood carries it forever beyond their ken as a trueto life and honesttogoodriess counterfeit pre ¬ sentment Whereat posterity cannot do other than ejaculate Did King of the Winds really look like that Well then the breed of horses certainly lias improved Troyes horse portraits very happily are of an altogether different description They have artistic value They afford approxi ¬ mately correct and in some instances it is authentically averred strikingly lifelike rep ¬ resentations of their subjects A book of reproductions of the best and historically most notable ones is something that should rejoice every lover of the high mettled racer And as I said in the beginning it is to be hoped that nothing will interfere with its successful publication

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