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Entries / Roerich N.K., (1874-1947), artist, archaeologist, writer

Roerich N.K., (1874-1947), artist, archaeologist, writer

Categories / Art/Fine Arts/Personalia
Categories / Science. Education/Personalia

ROERICH Nikolay Konstantinovich (1874, St. Petersburg - 1947), painter, theatre artist, philosopher and public figure. Studied at the Faculty of Law of St. Petersburg University and at the Academy of Arts (1893-97) under A.I. Kuindzhi, and became a member of the Academy in 1909. Roerich served as secretary of the Secret Artist Encouragement Foundation in 1901-06. He was a member of the World of Art Association (serving as chairman of the Association's Board in 1910-13) and the Union of Russian Artists (1903-13), and charter member of the Kuindzhi Society (1909). Roerich painted canvases on the topics of Slavonic pagan antiquity, legends and apocryphal traditions of the Old Rus: Slavs. The Origin of Rus (1897), The Town is Being Built (1902, both can be seen in the State Tretyakov Gallery), Overseas Guests (1901), Battle in Heavens (1912, both are on display in the State Russian Museum). Roerich designed productions for the Russian Seasons in Paris, organised by S.P. Dyagilev (including performances of N.A. Rimsky-Korsakov's opera The Maid of Pskov, 1909, and A.P. Borodin's Prince Igor, 1914; and I.F. Stravinsky's ballet The Rite of Spring, 1913). In 1906, he was appointed to head the Drawing School of Artists’ Encouragement Foundation, and considerably extended its educational programme. In the summer of 1917, Roerich joined the Special Art Committee of the Provisional Government. Lived abroad since 1918, in 1920-28 - in the USA, and from 1928 - in India (Kulu Valley, near Naggar). Roerich traveled on scientific and artistic expeditions around Central Asia (1923-28 and 1934-35). He painted pictures, inspired by Indian nature, philosophy and mythology and founded Cor Ardens International Art Society ("Burning Hearts"; Chicago, 1920), Institute of the United Arts (New York, 1921), and Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute (Naggar, 1929-42). Roerich also founded personal museums in New York, Paris, Riga and Kulu and initiated the idea of the International Pact for the Protection of Cultural Values (Roerich Pact, 1929). Roerich wrote articles on arts and protection of ancient monuments, travel notes, poems, plays, literary and philosophical works, in which he preached the idea of spiritual transformation of life. In 1874-99, Roerich lived at 25 Universitetskaya Embankment, and in 1906-17 - at 38 Bolshaya Morskaya Street (memorial plaques); his estate is located in the village of Izvara (today Volosovsky District of Leningrad Region; Memorial Estate Museum of N.K. Roerich was established there in 1984).

References: Беликов П. Ф., Князева В. П. Рёрих. 2-е изд. М., 1973; Короткина Л. В. Рерих в Петербурге - Петрограде. Л., 1985; Держава Рёриха: [Сб.]. М., 1994.

O. L. Leikind, D.Y. Severyukhin.

Borodin Alexander Porfirievich
Dyagilev Sergey Pavlovich
Kuindzhi Arkhip Ivanovich
Rimsky-Korsakov Nikolay Andreevich
Roerich Nikolay Konstantinovich
Stravinsky Igor Fedorovich

Bolshaya Morskaya St./Saint Petersburg, city, house 38
Universitetskaya Embankment/Saint Petersburg, city, house 25

Беликов П. Ф., Князева В. П. Рёрих. 2-е изд. М., 1973
Короткина Л. В. Рерих в Петербурге - Петрограде. Л., 1985
Держава Рёриха: [Сб.]. М., 1994
Алтай - Гималаи. М., 2003
Держава света. М., 2001
Пути благословения. М., 2001

The subject Index
State University, St. Petersburg
Academy of Arts
Academy of Arts
Society for the Encouragement of the Arts
World of Art, Association
Kuindzhi Society
Provisional Government of 1917