ROOSEVELT, Theodore, as a ‘Rough Rider’

A picture of Roosevelt as a young man on horseback. Oil on canvas, signed and dated lower right, 1915.

Present Whereabouts Unknown.

The artist; Jessica Dragonette.

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Theodore Roosevelt Jr. was born on October 27, 1858 and died on January 6, 1919. He was an American statesman, sportsman, conservationist and writer. He was Vice-President until hurriedly sworn in as 26th President in Buffalo on September 14, 1901 after President McKinley was assassinated. He remains the youngest person to become President of the United States. As a leader of the Progressive Movement he championed his ‘Square Deal’ domestic policies, promising the average citizen fairness, breaking of trusts, regulation of railroads, and pure food and drugs. Making conservation a top priority, he established new national parks, forests and monuments that he intended would preserve the nation’s natural resources. In foreign policy, he focussed on Central America, and began construction of the Panama Canal. He expanded the navy and sent the US fleet on a world tour to project the United States’ naval power. His successful efforts to broker the end of the Russo-Japanese War won him the 1906 Nobel Peace Prize. Elected in 1904 to a full term, Roosevelt continued to promote progressive policies, many of which were passed by Congress.

In the artist’s papers, amongst the cuttings for 1915, is an undated cutting, presumably from March or April, which states that ‘A. Muller Uray (sic), who recently completed a portrait of Col. Roosevelt, is the guest of Mrs. Samuel H. Valentine at Valmar on the Rocks.’ The picture was based upon photographs of Roosevelt in his book Hunting Trips of a Ranchman (1885).

Jessica Dragonette may have sold this to a Daniel FitzGerald of Brooklyn according to lists compiled by her sister Nadea Dragonette Loftus.