Friday, 1 March 2013

Master of the Mountains

His Shadow (Shadow of the Teacher) 1932. Tempera on canvas. 74,5 x 117,5.
The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, Russia

As soon as you walk into our apartment, you will see three paintings of Nicholas Roerich. He was widely known as 'A Master of the Mountains,' for many deserved reason. Barely known to mountaineers and modern painters, Nicholas Roerich was an extraordinary personality, a unique individual, having an immense thirst for knowledge, and a deep appreciation of beauty in all forms. A trained painter and lawyer, also archaeologist, ethnographer, geographer, poet, historian, philosopher, scientist, traveler, fighter for peace, defender of cultural values of all nations, Roerich throughout his life, devoted himself to the ideal of the common good of mankind. He was also a man of the mountains.

As soon as you walk into our apartment, you will see three paintings of Nicholas Roerich,  A Master of the Mountains. Photo: Bob McKerrow

The title 'A Master of the Mountains' comes from countless things he did including his amazing Central Asia Expedition through  Sikkim, Kashmir, Ladakh, China (Sintzian), Russia, Siberia, Altai, Mongolia and Tibet.
Climbing over a 20,000 foot pass in Sikkim came naturally to Roerich as he was totally at home in the mountains, and accepted by mountain tribes who were seeing Europeans for the first time. Many things attracted me to Roerich, but what stood out was that he saw the good in Red Cross and decided to form another Pact, not an organisation, called  'The banner of peace."

Signing of the Roerich’s Pact, 1935 ( Franklin D. Roosevelt in the centre, and Roerich on his right.

The Banner of Peace

In the following year, on a trip back to New York, Roerich proposed a treaty for the protection of cultural treasures during times of both war and peace. Using the Red Cross as an example, he drafted a Pact suggesting that a flag, called the Banner of Peace, be flown over all places under its protection. The design of the Banner shows three spheres surrounded by a circle, in magenta color on a white background. Of the many interpretations of this symbol, the most usual are perhaps those of Religion, Art and Science as aspects of culture, which is the surrounding circle; or of past, present and future achievements of humanity guarded within the circle of Eternity

The Roerich Pact was first agreed to by twenty-one nations of the Americas and signed as a treaty in the White House with President Franklin Delano Roosevelt, on April 15, 1935. It was later signed by other countries as well. This treaty is still in force.
Great Spirit of the Himalayas. 1934

 Roerich believed the challenges of the mountains helped one to find courage and develop strength of spirit. And, in spite of obstacles, wherever they went, the Roerichs' faith in the essential goodness of life and the spirituality of man was reinforced.

Roerich's Banner of the East series of nineteen paintings depicting the world's religious teachers, Mohammed, Jesus, Moses, Confucius and Buddha, and the Indian and Christian saints and sages was a testimonial to the unity of religious striving and the common roots of man's faith.

At the end of their major expedition in 1928, the family settled in the Kullu Valley at an elevation of 6,500 feet in the Himalyan foothills. There they established their home and the headquarters of the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute, which was organized to study the results of their expedition, and of those explorations that were yet to come. The Institute's activities included botanical and ethnological-linguistic studies, and the exploration of archeological sites. I viisted Naggar in the Kullu Valley and saw his home, his old car still in the garage and inspected the house with utmost reverence and admiration.

The Roerich house in Naggar, Kullu valley, India.

.The pursuit of refinement and beauty was sacred for Roerich. He believed that, although earthly temples and artifacts may perish, the thought that brings them into existence does not die but is part of an eternal stream of consciousness - people's aspirations nourished by their directed will and by the energy of thought. Finally, he believed that peace on Earth is a prerequisite to planetary survival and the continuing process of spiritual evolution, and he exhorted those who would help achieve that peace to unite in the common language of Beauty and Knowledge.

Based on the philosophy of Nicholas Roerich, the mission of The Center for Peace Through Culture, is to promote a psychology of peace that focuses on the identification of belief systems that separate people, and to help transform these belief systems into attitudes of inclusion and acceptance.

Jawaharlal Nehru, Indira Gandhi Nicholas Roerich, M. Yunus. (Roerich’s estate, Kullu)

But who was this mysterious mountain man ?

Nicholas was born on October 9, 1874, in St. Petersburg, Russia, to the family of a notary, Konstantin F. Roerich.

Nicholas spent his childhood in a house on the bank of the river Neva and at the suburban estate of his father, which was called Izvara. Everything interested the inquisitive boy: complex designs of the ship masts, a small boat ploughing the flat surface of the river, the words of an ancient song of the times about Tsar Peter the Great (which his grandmother would sing to the children).

                                                               Path to Shambhala 1933

The interests of the boy were quite diverse. He learned to read very early and was fond of literature, poetry and theater. The boy also painted.Nicholas had many projects during his life which he hoped would help to raise the consciousness of humanity.
 Nicholas and Helena Roerich are two of these Russian superheroes. The Roerichs offered an inspiring path for spiritual growth and life similar to what in America is called "global awakening" — a philosophy that encompasses all peoples and faiths. They saw that different religions simply looked at the same Truth in different ways — but that this different way-of-looking was the cause of all war.

It is said that the Roerichs were eminently likable; that they attracted others through their appearance, manners, simplicity, and generosity. Certainly, they were great artists, creating wonderful paintings and writings. They also were known as philosophers, speakers, teachers, scientists, patrons of the arts, public figures, and cultural workers. But it was probably their greatness of Soul, an ineffable Quality that radiated from their every word and gesture, that caused them to be taken so closely to the Russian heart.

In the final analysis, they were conveying, in a beautiful and captivating form — through art, writing, Eastern practices, and even socio-political projects — the thoughts and leadership of the Ascended Masters

                                          Himalayas 1933

Roerich’s outlook of the world was unique, based upon the knowledge of the fundamental laws of existence. He was convinced that by increasing the level of masses’ spiritual culture, one could transform life on earth and defeat ignorance, vulgarity, exploitation and wars. In his own words “Where there is culture, there is peace”. Being convinced of the transforming power of culture, Nicholas Roerich devoted himself not only to artistic, but also to educational activities.

Roerich’s lifetime work comprises around 7000 paintings and sketches, which can be found in famous museums and private collections all around the world. His early works bear strong influences of his Russian heritage. Based on Russian themes and legends, the panoramic Russian landscapes, history and folk art, he travelled extensively, first in Russia, later in Europe and America, before realizing his long cherished dream to come to India.

                                                              Kanchenjunga 1936

Central nAsia Expeditions

He and his family arrived in India, which attracted the attention of N. Roerich not only as a painter, but as a scientist interested in a number of problems related to ancient peoples’ world migrations, and search for a common source of Slavic and Indian cultures. From here a path of the expedition in hard-to-reach areas of Central Asia was began. Later N. Roerich written: “Besides artistic tasks of our expedition we have intended to clarify a situation with relics of the past of Central Asia, to observe modern state of religion, customs, and to register the traces of great migration of peoples. This last task was always close to me”. The expedition’s extremely difficult itinerary ran through Sikkim, Kashmir, Ladakh, China (Sintzian), Russia (including Moscow), Siberia, Altai, Mongolia, Tibet, unstudied areas of Trans Himalayas. The expedition was continued from 1924 to 1928. Having realized Przewalski and Kozlov’s dream, Nicholas Roerich’s expedition became a triumph of Russian studies in Central Asia. In terms of its itinerary uniqueness and collected materials, it can justly claim for a special place among major expeditions of the 20th century.

                                                       Tibet Himalayas 1933

Archeological and ethnographical investigations in unexplored Asian areas were conducted. For the first time, dozens of new mountain peaks and passes were marked on maps, rarest manuscripts were found, richest linguistic materials and folkloric works were collected, descriptions of local customs were made. Also during the expedition the books “Heart of Asia” and “Altai-Himalayas” were written, about five hundred paintings were created, on which the artist portrayed a beauty panorama of the expedition itinerary, a famous painting series “Himalayas” was began, the series “Maytreya”, “Sikkim’s Path”, “His country" “The Teaches of the East” et al.

The Russian painter’s world recognition is confirmed by the fact that more than a hundred institutes, academies, scientific corporations, cultural institutions in the whole world have chosen him their honorary and full member. In India itself, famous Indian philosophers, scientists, writers, public figures were personally acquainted with Nicholas Roerich.

In India Roerich continued to work at “Himalayas” series which includes more than two thousands paintings. Mountain world was a source of inexhaustible inspiration for the painter. Art critics noted a new direction in Roerich’s creativity and called him “Master of mountains”. In India N. Roerich created the following series: “Shambala”, “Chingis-Khan”, “Kuluta”, “Kullu”, “Saint mountains”, “Tibet”, Ashrams” etc. Artist’s exhibitions were held in many Indian cities and attracted many people.

Roerich always remained a patriot and a Russian citizen only holding one passport – Russian. He never gave up the thought of coming back to his motherland. Right after the end of the war, the artist applied for a visa to enter the Soviet Union. But on December 13, 1947, he died, without knowing that he was denied the visa.[citation needed]

In Kullu valley, at the place of the funeral fire, a big rectangular stone was installed on which the following inscription was carved: “Here, on December 15, 1947, the body of Maharishi Nicholas Roerich – a great Russian friend of India – was committed to fire.

Investiture of Banner of Peace which was on board of cosmic station 'Mir' to the Speaker of Indian Parliament Sri Somnath Chatterdgi on the occasion of S. N. Roerich 100th anniversary. From left to right: Hero of Russian Federation S. Zalyotin, V. Afanasiev, Sri Somnath Chatterdgi, Yu. M. Vorontsov Yu, President of ICR
It has been such a joy and an honour to write about this amazing man and one wonders why is not well known outside of India and Russia. I have only touched on his life and if you are interested in seeing his stunning paintings, go to:

Special thanks to the Nicholas Roerich Museum  which I visited in 2004 and they gave me so much assistance in researching his life, and and to Wikipedia for permission to use some photos and text.


Anonymous said...

It's perfect time to make some plans for the long run and it is time to be happy. I have learn this post and if I may just I desire to recommend you few interesting things or advice. Perhaps you could write subsequent articles relating to this article. I want to read even more things about it!

Also visit my web page :: internet marketing

Anonymous said...

Hi there, You've done an excellent job. I will certainly digg it and personally recommend to my friends. I'm sure they'll be benefited from this site.

My blog - internationaler bilanzbuchhalter ihk

Anonymous said...

Valuable info. Lucky me I found your website unintentionally,
and I am surprised why this coincidence did not
happened earlier! I bookmarked it.

My web blog; diet plans that work

Anonymous said...

This is really interesting, You are a very skilled blogger.

I have joined your feed and look forward to seeking
more of your magnificent post. Also, I've shared your website in my social networks!

my website Author's external home page.

Anonymous said...

Great post! We are linking to this great post on our site.
Keep up the great writing.

my web site: Natural Cleanse REviews

Anonymous said...

These are really enormous ideas in about blogging. You have touched
some pleasant factors here. Any way keep up wrinting.

Also visit my weblog - work office

Anonymous said...

Hi there it's me, I am also visiting this website on a regular basis, this website is genuinely fastidious and the people are in fact sharing fastidious thoughts.

Have a look at my weblog: garcinia cambogia extract

Anonymous said...

Hi there, its fastidious piece of writing on the topic of media print, we all be aware of media is a
impressive source of information.

Also visit my weblog: teeth become

Anonymous said...

Hi there very nice website!! Guy .. Excellent .
. Superb .. I will bookmark your site and take the feeds also?
I'm glad to search out a lot of helpful info here within the put up, we'd like develop more strategies on this regard, thanks for sharing.
. . . . .

My weblog: hca extract

Anonymous said...

I'm excited to discover this page. I want to to thank you for ones time for this particularly fantastic read!! I definitely really liked every bit of it and I have you book-marked to see new stuff in your blog.

Look into my website ... raspberry ketones african mango saffron extract weight loss supplements

Anonymous said...

Hello! This is kind of off topic but I need some
advice from an established blog. Is it hard to set up your own blog?
I'm not very techincal but I can figure things out pretty quick. I'm
thinking about creating my own but I'm not sure where to begin. Do you have any points or suggestions? Many thanks

Look into my blog post ... garcinia cambogia

Anonymous said...

Very nice post. I simply stumbled upon your weblog and wished to say
that I have truly enjoyed surfing around your blog posts.
After all I will be subscribing on your rss feed and I am hoping you write once more soon!

my weblog :: garcinia cambogia

Anonymous said...

I am really impressed with your writing skills as well as with the layout on your
weblog. Is this a paid theme or did you customize it yourself?
Either way keep up the excellent quality writing, it's rare to see a nice blog like this one these days.

Also visit my site - raspberry ketone

Anonymous said...

Hello it's me, I am also visiting this site on a regular basis, this site is truly nice and the visitors are truly sharing good thoughts.

My web blog: green coffee for sale

Anonymous said...

Wow, amazing weblog structure! How long have you
ever been running a blog for? you make running a blog look easy.
The entire look of your website is fantastic, let alone the content!

Feel free to surf to my webpage: bean extract

Anonymous said...

I have been browsing on-line more than 3 hours these days, but
I never discovered any interesting article like yours. It's lovely worth sufficient for me. In my view, if all webmasters and bloggers made just right content as you did, the internet can be a lot more useful than ever before.

my blog post;

Anonymous said...

Heya i am for the primary time here. I came across
this board and I to find It truly helpful & it helped me out a lot.

I'm hoping to give one thing back and aid others like you helped me.

Have a look at my website; tanda pearl ionic teeth whitening system

Anonymous said...

Magnificent web site. Lots of helpful information here.
I am sending it to some friends ans additionally sharing in delicious.
And certainly, thanks in your effort!

Review my site: diets that work fast for women

Anonymous said...

Hello! You some type of pro? Nice message. Can you inform me learn how to
subscribe your blog?

Also visit my page - having trouble getting pregnant the third time

Anonymous said...

I еѵеrу timе useԁ tο study piеcе of
writіng in neωs papers but noω as I am a useг of intегnеt ѕо
fгom now I am using net fοr аrtіcles or revіeωs,
thanks to ωeb.

Hаνe a look at mу ωeb pаge green coffee bean powder

Anonymous said...

І have bеen surfing οnline moге than 4 hourѕ today, yet Ι neνeг found any intеrеsting article lіκe yours.
Ιt is pretty worth enough foг mе. In my viеw, if аll
webmasters anԁ bloggeгs made good content аs you did, the internet will be а lоt morе
useful than eveг beforе.

Haѵe a look at mу blog ... raspberry ketones results

Anonymous said...

Thіѕ site was... hoω do Ι saу it?
Relevаnt!! Finally I have found ѕomething whіch helped me.
Apρreciate it!

Also ѵisit my webраgе ... raspberry ketone diet

Anonymous said...

Thіѕ pοst іѕ ρriсeless.
Where cаn I fіnd out morе?

Visіt my ωebѕite: green coffee bean diet

Anonymous said...

Hі, I do thіnk this is a great site.
I stumbledupon it ;) I may геturn once agаin sіnсe Ι book-marκеԁ it.
Money аnd freedоm iѕ the greateѕt ωаy to changе, may you bе rich
and сontіnuе tο hеlp οther

Feеl frеe to visit my ρаgе - raspberry ketone

Anonymous said...

Appreciate this post. Will try it out.

Feel free to surf to my homepage Garcinia Cambogia

Anonymous said...

Your mode of explaining everything in this paragraph is genuinely pleasant, all be
capable of simply be aware of it, Thanks a lot.

Also visit my homepage -

Anonymous said...

I always used to study piece of writing in news papers
but now as I am a user of web thus from now I am using net for articles, thanks to

Feel free to surf to my web blog: Green coffee

Anonymous said...

Hello, I enjoy reading through your post. I wanted to write a little comment to support you.

My web-site - raspberry ketone diet

Anonymous said...

My brother recommended I might like this web site. He was entirely right.
This post truly made my day. You cann't imagine simply how much time I had spent for this information! Thanks!

Take a look at my webpage ... raspberry ketone reviews

Anonymous said...

Thanks for the auspicious writeup. It if truth be tοld waѕ
once a leisurе acсοunt it. Glanсe
complех tο more introduced agrеeable from you!

Βy the waу, hοw can we keep in touch?

Stop by my blοg post - legal ecstasy

oakleyses said...

tory burch outlet, polo ralph lauren, prada handbags, louis vuitton outlet online, michael kors outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, coach outlet, gucci handbags, christian louboutin outlet, nike air max, cheap oakley sunglasses, jordan shoes, michael kors outlet online, nike shoes, longchamp outlet online, nike free, coach outlet store online, christian louboutin shoes, longchamp handbags, michael kors outlet, louis vuitton handbags, nike air max, true religion outlet, burberry outlet online, longchamp outlet, polo ralph lauren outlet, michael kors outlet online, red bottom shoes, prada outlet, coach purses, tiffany and co jewelry, ray ban outlet, louis vuitton, tiffany jewelry, oakley vault, kate spade handbags, oakley sunglasses, kate spade outlet online, louis vuitton outlet, true religion, michael kors outlet store, burberry outlet online, chanel handbags, coach outlet, michael kors outlet online, ray ban sunglasses, christian louboutin

oakleyses said...

hermes pas cher, sac michael kors, timberland, lululemon, scarpe hogan, barbour, nike air max, nike roshe, true religion jeans, louis vuitton uk, tn pas cher, ray ban pas cher, longchamp pas cher, nike blazer pas cher, burberry pas cher, louis vuitton pas cher, new balance pas cher, lacoste pas cher, north face, hollister, michael kors canada, air max, louis vuitton, vans pas cher, nike air max, ralph lauren pas cher, michael kors uk, nike free, oakley pas cher, nike roshe run, air max pas cher, air jordan, chaussure louboutin, hollister, converse pas cher, ralph lauren, true religion outlet, sac vanessa bruno, abercrombie and fitch, ray ban uk, north face pas cher, longchamp, nike free pas cher, nike air force, mulberry, guess pas cher, sac louis vuitton

oakleyses said...

lululemon outlet, nfl jerseys, babyliss pro, ugg, valentino shoes, mcm handbags, north face jackets, nike huarache, instyler ionic styler, nike trainers, canada goose outlet, ferragamo shoes, roshe run, soccer jerseys, giuseppe zanotti, canada goose, chi flat iron, mac cosmetics, soccer shoes, ugg outlet, ugg soldes, canada goose outlet, herve leger, new balance outlet, birkin bag, wedding dresses, insanity workout, beats headphones, north face outlet, celine handbags, reebok shoes, vans outlet, rolex watches, hollister, abercrombie and fitch, uggs on sale, canada goose outlet, marc jacobs outlet, mont blanc pens, p90x workout, jimmy choo shoes, uggs outlet, ghd, bottega veneta, longchamp, asics shoes, ugg boots

oakleyses said...

wedding dress, iphone 6 case, converse shoes, moncler, pandora jewelry, hollister canada, parajumpers outlet, moncler, moncler, canada goose pas cher, moncler, oakley, moncler outlet, vans, coach outlet, pandora uk, canada goose, supra shoes, hollister clothing, ugg, uggs canada, ray ban, canada goose, lancel, pandora charms, moncler, juicy couture outlet, links of london uk, juicy couture outlet, gucci, ralph lauren, hollister, thomas sabo uk, louboutin, karen millen, moncler, montre femme, swarovski jewelry, toms outlet, replica watches, air max, converse, nike air max, canada goose uk, timberland shoes, baseball bats, louis vuitton canada, swarovski uk

yanmaneee said...

yeezy shoes
off white nike
hermes handbags
golden goose
golden goose sneakers
lebron james shoes
kawhi leonard shoes
kyrie irving shoes
golden goose sneakers
supreme new york