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The artist

Rochette devant l'esquisse des Pelleteurs
Rochette peignant l'usine


Raymond Rochette was born on 25 May 1906 in the family home built by his grandfather, curiously situated on the borders of the powerful Le Creusot factory and the vast Morvan forest.

Raymond Rochette, his parents, his two brothers

In his teens, he took technical drawing and charcoal lessons from Mr Dif at the Schneider school.

Technical drawing by Rochette
Technical drawing by Rochette
Technical drawing by Rochette

From 1921, Raymond Rochette produced his first oil paintings, depicting Morvan landscapes and scenes of rural life: work in the fields and woods, granite quarrying... subjects to which he would always be sensitive. His first painting was exhibited in Paris in 1929,"Etude de gerbes" (Study of sheaves) was included in the Salon des Artistes Français in 1929.

Study of sheaves.jpg
The mosque of Kenitra.jpg

​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​​In 1936, his request to paint the workshops was refused and for the next ten years he painted numerous landscapes in which the factory appeared in the background. In 1949, he finally obtained permission to enter the factory and paint there. At first, his paintings focused on the gigantic tools of metallurgy and mechanics. Quickly accepted by the workers, he depicted them more and more often, tiny next to the machines they dominated, or in the center of the painting.

The forge door.jpg

Since childhood, Raymond Rochette had been fascinated by the world of heavy metallurgy. From Morocco, where he was doing his national service, he wrote to his family in 1927: "I think it would be interesting to paint the men at work, sweating, reddened by the enormous machines, the dust and the steam".

Examining the temperature of an oven.jpg
The wire train rolling mill.jpg

For 70 years, Raymond Rochette's thirst for painting remained insatiable; a landscape, a face, a piece of fruit, simple objects, everything fascinated his eye.

His works were acquired by the French government and the City of Paris, and can be found in a dozen museums in France and abroad.

He died on 26 December 1993, in the house where he was born.

Rochette in his workshop

In 2006 (the centenary of his birth), his friends and the official bodies of the Burgundy region organized a number of exhibitions.

Poster for the Centenary of the birth of Rochette
Poster for the Centenary of the birth of Rochette

His paintings are currently preserved in the keep in the village of Saint Sernin - du - Bois, and at the Creusot - Montceau ecomuseum, his house, preserved intact since his death, is now open to the public.;

In addition to private exhibitions in galleries in France, retrospectives are currently planned in various museums in France and abroad.

At the "Raymond Rochette Centenary" on 25 May 2006, Bernard Paulin, then President of the Creusot-Montceau Ecomuseum, said:


"He painted everything: blackberries, anemones, bales of hay, the threshing machine, the gaping oven, the worker transformed into a science-fiction monster under his welder's or dauber's mask, the factory gate, the screaming red press, people in the countryside and his neighbours, his friends. He painted everything, all the time, on surfaces that could withstand colour: nothing and no one was unworthy of his brush. He must have painted from the cradle; he painted until his last breath...

He painted everything, he painted all the time and the result is there, in his exhibitions which are opening for his centenary - and also, perhaps above all, among the people - because he was and remained very popular. He loved the people and they loved him back: Rochette is Rochette du Creusot - not just because he painted the town, the factory, the countryside, the priory of Saint - Sernin, the mine, the Morvan - but because he had that modesty, that humility, that lack of pretension that is the prerogative of the greatest, of those who know they don't know and will never finish looking....

Raymond Rochette paints the world of the elements: fire, earth, light, time too, with its seasons and days, and the world of telluric power, of mastery over the world".

Rochette painting the turbine, Le Creusot factory by Rochette
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