The Corresponence of James McNeil Whistler
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Alexander Ignatius Roche, 1863-1921

Nationality: Scottish
Date of Birth: 1863.08.17
Place of Birth: Glasgow
Date of Death: 1921.03.10
Place of Death: Edinburgh


Alexander Ignatius Roche was a landscape and portrait painter.


Roche studied at Glasgow School of Art and at the Académie Julian in Paris in Paris. Some of his works were brightly coloured and decorative and dealt with folklore and myth, for example, The Court of Cards (1891; present whereabouts unknown), which was described as 'a lovely piece of artistic nonsense'.

He was elected as an artist member of Glasgow Art Club on 6 November 1884.

Having been invited to exhibit with the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers in 1898, a society that formed with JW as its President in this year, he showed an oil Margaret (cat. no. 43), and in 1901 the oils Jo (cat. no. 136) and The Sailing of the Boat (cat. no. 234).

In 1889 Roche was among those invited to a dinner organised by W. C. Symons to congratulate JW on becoming an Honorary Member of the Royal Academy of Munich, a dinner which was to be held at the Criterion in Piccadilly on 1 May 1889 (#00631).

Roche visited Italy in the 1890s, settling in Edinburgh in 1897. He also visited the United States. In 1891 he became a member of the New English Art Club and in 1898 of the Royal Society of Portrait Painters. He was elected an associate of the Royal Scottish Academy in 1893, becoming a full member in 1900. He exhibited in London at the Royal Academy, Royal Institute of Oil Painters, Royal Society of Portrait Painters, Grosvenor Gallery and ISSPG, as well as at the Glasgow Institute of the Fine Arts, Royal Scottish Academy, Royal Scottish Society of Painters in Water Colours, Royal Hibernian Academy, Walker Art Gallery in Liverpool and Manchester City Art Gallery.


Illustrated Souvenir Catalogue of the Exhibition of International Art, London, 1898; Catalogue of the Pictures, Drawings, Prints and Sculpture at the Third Exhibition of the International Society of Sculptors, Painters and Gravers, London, 1901; Bénézit, E., Dictionnaire des Peintres, Sculpteurs, Dessinateurs et Graveurs, 8 vols, Paris, 1956-61; Johnson, J., and A. Gruetzner, Dictionary of British Artists 1880-1940, Woodbridge, 1980; McConkey, Kenneth, Memory and Desire: Painting in Britain and Ireland at the Turn of the Twentieth Century, Aldershot, 2002.