Troye was born on July 12, 1808 in Lausanne, Switzerland. At age 20 he emigrated to the West Indies of the New World and later on to Philadelphia, Pennsylvania where he was an employed artist of Sartain's Magazine.
On July 16, 1839, Troye married Corneila Van de Graff of Scott County, Kentucky, and settled in Central Kentucky where he lived for the next 35 years.
While living in Kentucky, Troye painted portraits and race horses for the local families in Georgetown, Kentucky. He worked primarily for the Steele and Alexander families, and Alexander "Keene" Richards.
Troye taught French and drawing at Spring Hill College, 1849-1855.
Later he and Richards traveled to the Holy Land where he painted horses, Damascus, Syria cattle, the Dead Sea and the bazaar of Damascus while Richards bought Arabian horses. Bethany College, West Virginia retains copies of some of these paintings.
In 1869, Troye moved his family to a 700-acre cotton plantation in Madison County, Alabama. Troye returned to Kentucky and resided at the home of longtime friend Keen Richards until his death from pneumonia on July 25, 1874.
Troye's best works, between the years 1835 and 1874 (prior to the birth of photography), are true-to-life delineations of historical American Great Plains horses. He painted Southern United States pre-American Civil War thoroughbreds. Little was known of Troye's work in the eastern United States until 1912. Since then, more than 300 of his paintings have been found, of which three-fourth's have been photographed since 1912. In addition, he is the author of The Race Horses of America (1867).
Troye is buried in Georgetown Cemetery with his wife and grandson, Clarence D. Johnson.