Thursday, January 24, 2013

Roerich, Nicholas

Buddha the Winner
tempera on canvas
73.6 x 117 cm
Private Collection

"Where all the treasures of mankind must be saved, there one should find such a symbol that can open the inmost recesses of all hearts." (Roerich)

Nicholas Roerich, (1874 - 1947), also known as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh, was a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, public figure, mystic, enlightener and philosopher. He was born in Saint Petersburg, Russia to the family of a well-to-do notary public. Trained as an artist and a lawyer, his interests lay in literature, philosophy, archaeology and especially art. He was a prolific artist and he created thousands of paintings (many of them are exhibited in well-known museums of the world), as well as about 30 literary works.

Roerich was a dedicated activist, author and initiator of an international pact for the protection of artistic and academic institutions and historical sites (Roerich’s Pact: signed into law by the United States and most member nations of the Pan-American Union in April 1935) and a founder of an international movement for the defense of culture. He earned several nominations for the Nobel Prize.

Roerich lived around the world until his death in Punjab, India. Today, the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York City is a major center for Roerich's artistic work. Numerous Roerich societies continue to promote his theosophical teachings worldwide. About his biography, please see Nicholas Roerich Museum.