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Nicholas Roerich

1874-1947 Russia/History-Mystical

 

Brief Biography-Nicholas Roerich was born in Saint Petersburg in 1847. He was a painter of mystic and religious subjects, while his professions were archaeology, architecture, philosophy, theosophy, and law.
He studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts, gained a law degree and was later president of Sergei Diaghilev’s World of Art Society. He successfully designed sets for Diaghilev’s stage performances during his presidency. He also indulged in eastern religions with his wife and was influenced by the writings of Rabindranath Tagore, the Indian symbolist artist.
He left Russia after the revolution with his family for Finland, supposedly because of his distrust of the Bolshevik regime and fear for Russia’s artistic heritage. From Finland, they went to London. He did stage designs in Covent Garden and put on exhibitions of his works. In 1920 they went to America; based in New York, he successfully exhibited his paintings throughout the States until 1923.
He undertook an expedition to Asia for a five-year period, which meant introducing Western Buddhism to regions. Nevertheless, others saw it as an artistic mission; one way or another, it ran into hostility in Tibet and resulted in five members dying in captivity. However, they were allowed to go to India in 1928.
Back in America, he got nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize; the Roerich Pact was to protect cultural property in 1935. He was also involved in an expedition to Mongolia for the Department of Agriculture. In 1942, he spent time in India with Jawaharlal Nehru and his daughter Indira Gandhi. He died in Naggar, Kullu, in 1947.
There are museums dedicated to him in Moscow, New York and India, and his works are exhibited in galleries worldwide.

 

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