Roerich Nikolai

Lake Ladoga, Karelia 28,8х38 cm, tempera, pastel, paper on a board, 1918
About work

(Українська) Хвилеподібні і плавно згинаються форми пейзажу, серед яких нечутно дзюрчить кришталева вода, далекі округлості пагорбів – все це передає почуття свободи і натхненності. У цілих серіях робіт М. Реріха переважає будь-яка одна колірна гамма, в даному випадку панує синьо-фіолетова колірна символіка, що спонукає до зосередженості і роздумів.

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The work of Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (1874-1947) is an exceptional phenomenon in the history of Russian and world culture. This is a man of great creative range: artist, scientist, philosopher, traveler, major public figure. The master’s canvases are attractive due to the originality of themes and plots, their poetry, and deep symbolism.

N.K. Roerich was born in St. Petersburg in a noble family. In 1893 he entered St. Petersburg University, studied at the Faculty of Law and at the same time at the Academy of Arts, where he studied in the workshop of A.I. Kuindzhi. At this time, he closely communicated with famous cultural figures of that time – V.V. Stasov, I.E. Repin, N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov, D.V. Grigorovich, S.P. Diaghilev. His diploma painting “The Messenger” was acquired by P.M. Tretyakov. The collector was interested in the ideas of a young talented artist, his plans for creating a large series of paintings on the initial history of Russia. In 1900, N. Roerich went to Paris, where he attended the studio of the famous artist and teacher F. Cormon (1900-1901 gt.).

N.K. Roerich, in addition to Russian philosophy, also studied the philosophy of the East, the works of prominent thinkers of India – Ramakrishna and Vivekananda, the work of Rabindranath Tagore. Acquaintance with the philosophical thought of the East was reflected in the work of the master. If in the artist’s early paintings the defining plots were ancient pagan Russia, colorful images of the folk epos (“The City Build”, “Ominous”, “Overseas Guests”, etc.), then from the middle of 1905 many of his paintings and essays were devoted to India ( “Lakshmi,” “Indian Way,” “Krishna,” “Dreams of India,” etc.).

From 1906 to 1918 Nicholas Roerich is the director of the School of the Imperial Society for the Encouragement of Arts, from 1909 – a full member of the St. Petersburg Academy of Arts, from 1910 to 1919 – chairman of the association “World of Art”. Paris, Venice, Berlin, Rome, Brussels, Vienna, London got acquainted with the artist’s work. Pictures N.K. Roerich acquired the Roman National Museum, the Louvre and other European museums.

In 1916, N. Roerich was in Finland, a serious lung disease led him to treatment in Sortavala. Inspired by the beauty of the nature of this region, he creates dozens of landscapes about Finland and Karelia, including: Yukhinlahti, Lake Humpola, Tulola. The painting “Lake Ladoga, Karelia” is dated 1918. The undulating and smoothly bending forms of the landscape, among which the crystal water inaudibly murmur, the distant roundness of the hills – all this conveys a sense of freedom and spirituality. In a whole series of works by N. Roerich, any one color scheme prevails, in this case the blue-violet color symbolism dominates, disposing to concentration and reflection.

In 1917, N. Roerich was a member of the Commission for the Arts, created in March 1917 under the chairmanship of A.M. Gorky. In 1920, the artist went to America, where his work was particularly successful. Three years later, the Museum of Nicholas Roerich opened in New York, containing a large collection of works by the master. The sale of paintings, royalties for the design of theatrical productions, the publication of numerous articles, income from the activities of American public cultural and educational organizations provided N.K. Roerich the opportunity to make scientific expeditions to Central and East Asia (1924-1928, 1934-1935).

India attracted Roerich not only as an artist, but also as a scientist studying a number of problems related to the world migrations of ancient peoples and the search for a common source of Slavic and Indian cultures. In his philosophical and artistic essays, the master created a completely new concept of Culture, based on the ideas of Living Ethics. Culture, according to the master, is closely connected with the problems of the cosmic evolution of mankind and is the “greatest foundation” of this process. The Urusvati Institute of Himalayan Studies, organized by Nicholas Roerich in 1929, becomes its permanent residence.

Nikolai Konstantinovich conducted educational activities to attract the world public to the protection of cultural monuments: the so-called Roerich Pact. Its signing took place in 1935 in Washington with the personal participation of US President Franklin Roosevelt. Initially, the document was ratified by 21 countries of the American continent, later another 15 countries joined the Covenant.

For international cultural activities and the initiative of the Pact in 1929, Roerich was nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize. The ideas of the Pact are reflected in the art of Nicholas Roerich. The emblem of the “Banner of Peace” can be seen on many of his canvases of the thirties.

In India, the artist continued to work on a series of paintings “The Himalayas”, comprising more than two thousand works. For Nicholas Roerich, the mountain world was an inexhaustible source of inspiration. Art critics noted a new direction in his work and called N. Roerich “master of the mountains.” In India, the series Shambhala, Genghis Khan, Kuluta, Kulu, Holy Mountains, ’Tibet, Ashrams, etc. were written.

The idea of ​​returning to his homeland did not leave N. Re

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