Collection Spotlight: Nicholas Roerich Museum

 

Bridgeman Images is proud to represent the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York for reproduction and licensing rights. The Museum owns the largest collection of Nicholas Roerich paintings outside Russia. At its core, the Museum promotes the ideals of the Roerich Pact, which calls for protection of the world's cultural heritage and a deeper spiritual awareness of universal values as the means to save the world from a destructive future.

 

 

Tibet. Himalayas, 1933 (tempera on canvas), Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
/ Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York

 

Nicholas Roerich was a painter, archaeologist, cultural activist, and spiritual thinker who travelled the world in search of the true meaning of life. In his youth, he was inspired by Russian Spiritual theories and theosophy. Later in his life, he was driven by the relentless pursuit of beauty and harmony. His paintings were said to have healing powers and while the imagery of his work — mountain landscapes and temples, mythological and religious personages — never wandered beyond the boundaries of realism, his use of colour — the heavenly blues, in particular — complemented his reputation as one of the most prominent mystics of the 20th century.

 

Krishna. “Kulu” series, 1929 (tempera on canvas), Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
/ Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York

 

Among the most famous of his artistic contributions in his early career were the libretto and costume designs for Igor Stravinsky's Rite of Spring (1913). They were born out of his fascination with ancient peoples’ harmony with nature and his passion for archaeological history. Interestingly, many of his paintings of the prehistoric environment have an unusually contemporary aura, which is not something that can be said for many other paintings of the era. But it is the mountain landscapes, mostly of his beloved Himalayas, that he is best known for today. He is called “the Master of Mountains” in India, where he is the only non-Indian artist whose work is recognized as a national art treasure by the government.

 

St. Panteleimon the Healer, 1931 (tempera on canvas), Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
/ Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York

 

In the early 1920s he held exhibitions of his paintings in more than 20 cities in the USA, and founded the Roerich Museum in New York City. During the 1920–30’s he was instrumental in composing a treaty (The Roerich Pact) that aimed to protect historic monuments, museums, scientific, artistic, educational and cultural institutions during times of war and peace. Together with his wife Helena, he formed the Neo-Theosophical, ethico-spiritual doctrine Agni Yoga, which nowadays continues to attract hundreds of thousands of followers all over the world.

 

Star of the Hero, 1936 (tempera on canvas), Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
/ Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York

 

The Roerich Pact was signed in 1935 by twenty one countries at the White House. The Museum, meanwhile, held and continues to hold tens of thousands of items of correspondence related to Roerich's artistic and other activities. It is the largest centre for materials related to Nicholas Roerich outside of Russia. It also serves as the core location of the Agni Yoga Society, formed in 1921.

 

Mother of the World, 1924 (tempera on canvas laid on cardboard),
Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) / Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York

 

While Roerich himself died in Naggar in 1947, his art and ideologies continue to be popular today. In the 21st century, the Roerich Pact movement is especially popular in Latin America.

To see the Nicholas Roerich Museum's content, click here.

To see all of the Nicholas Roerich imagery currently held in the Bridgeman Archive click here.

 

Kanchenjunga, 1936 (tempera on canvas), Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947) / Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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