Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich

Born in St. Petersburg in 1874. Died in Nagar, India in 1947. Roerich studied at the Academy of Arts and the studio of A.I. Kuindzhi (1893–1897), and later at the F. Cormon Academy in Paris (1900–1901). In 1903, the artist undertook an archeological and ethnographic trip across Russia. Roerich’s paintings of the 1900s are unique historical reconstructions of the old cities and way of life of heathen and early Christian Russia. The artist was a close associate of M. Tenisheva’s Talashkin workshops, and in 1911–1914 executed mosaics and murals in Flenov, not far from Talashkin (Smolensk province). Roerich also worked for the theater. In 1903, the artist joined the newly formed Union of Russian Artists, and in 1910–1915 headed the “World of Art” association. In 1909, Roerich became an academician, and was one of the most authoritative artists of the day. In 1919, Roerich lived in London and then in the USA where he established the Roerich Museum. In 1928, the artist departed for India, to the State of Punjab where he established the “Urusvati” Institute of Himalayan Research in Nagar. Combining art and science his entire life, Roerich wrote poetry, prose and memoirs, and engaged in public activity. His final years spent in India brought new heroes into the master’s paintings—Hindu and Buddhist gods—and new ideas into his philosophical literature—ideas of a single religion that united Christianity, Buddhism and Hinduism.

Most Joyous Place - 1911, tempera on paper. Smolensk State Museum-Reserve
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