Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich
1874 - 1947

   

Nikolaj Konstantinovič Roerich se je rodil 9. oktobra 1874 v Skt. Petersburgu v Rusiji kot prvorojeni sin odvetnika in notarja Konstantina Roericha in njegove žene Marije. Odraščal je v udobnem okolju družine, ki je pripadala zgornjemu srednjemu sloju ruske družbe in imela stike s številnimi pisatelji, slikarji in znanstveniki.

Že v otroštvu je kazal zanimanje in nadarjenost za številne dejavnosti. Ko mu je bilo devet let, ga je znan arheolog vzel s seboj na izkopavanja krajevnih gomil. Navdušenje nad odkrivanjem skrivnosti pozabljenih obdobij z lastnimi rokami je v njem prebudilo zanimanje za arheologijo, ki ga je ohranil skozi celotno svoje življenje. Že v mladosti je Nikolaj kazal posebno nadarjenost za risanje, tako da je že pri šestnajstih začel razmišljati o vpisu na Likovno Akademijo in slikarski življenjski poti, kar je leta 1893 tudi uresničil, ko se je sočasno vpisal na Likovno Akademijo in Univerzo v Skt. Petersburgu.


Po diplomi je želel kakšno leto preživeti na popotovanji po Evropi in načrtoval oglede muzejev, razstav, ateljejev in salonov v Parizu in Berlinu. Vendar pa je tik pred odhodom spoznal Heleno, hčerko arhitekta Šapošnikova in nečakinjo skladatelja Musorgskega, s katero sta se takoj dobro ujela in hitro odločila za poroko, do katere je prišlo takoj po njegovi vrnitvi s popotovanja.

Helena Roerich je bila neobičajno obdarjena ženska, nadarjena pianistka, avtorica številnih knjig, vključno s Temelji Buddhizma in prevodom Tajnega nauka H. P. Blavastky v ruščino.


Da bi poskrbel za dohodke za svojo na novo ustvarjeno družino, se je Nikolaj prijavil, in bil sprejet, na položaj tajnika Društva za spodbujanje umetnosti. Kasneje je postal tudi njegov predsednik, kar je bil le prvi od mnogih položajev, ki jih je nato v nadaljnjem življenju zasedal kot učitelj in zagovornik umetnosti.

V poletjih 1903. in 1904. leta pa sta se Roerichova odpravila na daljše popotovanje, na katerem sta obiskala štirideset ruskih mest, da bi primerjala sloge in zgodovinsko povezanost ruske arhitekture.

V istem letu je Nikolaj naslikal svoje prve slike z religioznimi temami. Te so večinoma upodabljale ruske svetnike in legende.


Leta 1906 je Sergej Diagilov organiziral razstavo slik ruskih slikarjev v Parizu, ki je vključevala tudi šestnajst Nikolajevih del.


V letih pred prvo svetovno vojno je Roerich začutil prihajajočo katastrofo in na svojih slikah simbolično orisal grozljivo podobo spopada, ki se bo spustil na svet.

Leta 1915 je zbolel za pljučnico in zdravnik ga je poslal na zdravljenje na Finsko, tako da je bilo to obdobje tudi za družino Roerich, tako kot za ves svet, obdobje velikega nemira.


Leta 1917 se je v Rusiji začela revolucija in zaradi tega bi bila vrnitev domov prenevarna. Družina je zato začela načrtovati obisk Indije, ki jo je v teh letih zmeraj bolj pritegovala. Zdelo se je, da bo to postalo mogoče v letu 1918, ko je bil Nikolaj povabljen na razstavo v Stockholm in nato v London.
Tu pa ga je doseglo vabilo iz Amerike, ki ga je poslal čikaški Art Institute, da bi predstavil njegovo delo tudi v Ameriki. Prva razstava je bila pripravljena leta 1920 v Kingore Gallery v New Yorku, v nadaljevanju pa se je s 400 deli predstavil še v številnih drugih mestih po Združenih državah in poleg tega pripravil sceno in kostume za dve prestavi Chicago Opera Company.


Leta 1921 je v New Yorku ustanovil Master Institute of United Arts, s katerim je želel uresničiti svoje vzgojne koncepte, ki jih je vključil že v učni program v Petrogradu.

Med svojim bivanjem v Ameriki sta Roerichova še nadalje načrtovala svoj obisk Indije, kar se je končno uresničilo v letu 1923, ko sta tam obiskala kulturna in zgodovinska središča, se srečevala z indijskimi znanstveniki, profesorji, slikarji in pisatelji.
Decembra tega leta pa sta že prispela v Sikkim na južnih pobočjih Himalaje.
Od tu sta se odpravila na raziskovanje kitajskega Turkestana, Altaja, Mongolije in Tibeta. To je bila odprava v neraziskana področja, na katerih sta želela proučiti religije, jezike, običaje in kulturo njihovih prebivalcev.



Po koncu največje odprave, v letu 1928, se je družina nastanila v dolini Kullu na pobočjih Himalaje in zasnovala Urusvati himalajski raziskovalni inštitut, ki je bil vzpostavljen za preučevanje rezultatov njihove že opravljene in vseh nadaljnjih odprav. Njegove dejavnosti so vključevale preučevanje botanike, etnologije in jezikov ter raziskovanje arheoloških najdišč.

V naslednjem letu je na svojem potovanju v New York, ki je bilo namenjeno odprtju nove stavbe Roerichovega muzeja, je Nikolaj izoblikoval idejo, ki mu je dolga leta ležala na srcu. Po zgledu Rdečega križa je predlagal sporazum za varstvo kulturnih zakladov, tako v vojnem kot v času miru. V posvetovanju s poznavalci mednarodnega prava je pripravil osnutek Pakta ter predlagal, da bi bila njegova zastava razobešena na vseh mestih pod njegovo zaščito. To zastavo je poimenoval Prapor Miru. Njegova oblika prikazuje tri oble, ki jih obdaja krog, v škrlatni barvi na belem ozadju. Med mnogimi tolmačenji tega simbola je morda najbolj primerno tisto, ki govori o Religiji, Umetnosti in Znanosti kot aspektih Kulture, ali tisto o preteklih, sedanjih in prihodnjih dosežkih človeštva, ki jih varuje krog Večnosti. To znamenje in spremljajoči motto, Pax Cultura, simbolizirata Roerichovo vizijo za človeštvo.

Iskanje prefinjenosti in lepote je bilo za Roericha nekaj svetega. Verjel je, da se zemeljski templji in umetnine sicer lahko uničijo, da pa mišljenje, ki jih je pripeljalo v obstoj, nikoli ne umre in ostaja del večnega toka zavesti - človekovih stremljenj, ki jih usmerja njegova volja in energija mišljenja. Verjel je, da je mir na zemlji nujen predpogoj za preživetje planeta in za trajen proces duhovne evolucije. Soljudi je prigovarjal k temu, da bi pomagali doseči ta mir s tem, da bi se združili v skupnem jeziku Lepote in Znanja.


Nikolaj Roerich je umrl v Kullu, 13. decembra 1947. Njegovo telo je bilo kremirano in pepel zakopan na pobočju gora, ki jih je ljubil in naslikal na številnih od svojih skoraj sedem tisoč delih.


Nikolaj Roerich je bil tudi enako ploden pisatelj. Napisal je številne knjige, pesmi in skoraj vsakodnevno zapisoval komentarje o življenju in dogodkih in jih naslovil Listi dnevnika.

 

Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich was born on October 9, 1874 in St. Petersburg, Russia, as the first-born son of lawyer and notary, Konstantin Roerich and his wife Maria. He was raised in the comfortable environment of an upper middle-class Russian family with its advantages of contact with the writers, artists, and scientists who often came to visit the Roerichs.

At an early age he showed a curiosity and talent for a variety of activities. When he was nine, a noted archeologist came to conduct explorations in the region and took young Roerich on his excavations of the local tumuli. The adventure of unveiling the mysteries of forgotten eras with his own hands sparked an interest in archeology that would last his lifetime. While still quite young, Roerich showed a particular aptitude for drawing, and by the time he reached the age of sixteen he began to think about entering the Academy of Art and pursuing a career as an artist. In the fall of 1893 Nicholas enrolled simultaneously in the Academy of Art and at St. Petersburg University.

After finishing his university thesis, Roerich planned to set off for a year in Europe to visit the museums, exhibitions, studios, and salons of Paris and Berlin. Just before leaving he met Helena, daughter of the architect Shaposhnikov and niece of the composer Mussorgsky. There seems to have been an immediate mutual attraction, and they were soon engaged to be married. On his return from Europe their marriage took place.

Helena Roerich was an unusually gifted woman, a talented pianist, and author of many books, including The Foundations of Buddhism and a Russian translation of Helena Blavatsky's Secret Doctrine.

Prompted by the need to provide some income for his new household, Roerich applied for and won the position of Secretary of the School of the Society for the Encouragement of Art, later becoming its head, the first of many positions that Roerich would occupy as a teacher and spokesman for the arts.

In the summers of 1903 and 1904, Roerichs set off on an extended tour of forty cities throughout Russia. Roerich's purpose was to contrast the styles and historical context of Russian architecture.

In the same year Nicholas painted the first of his paintings on religious themes. These mostly dealt with Russian saints and legends.

In 1906 Sergei Diaghilev arranged an exhibition of Russian paintings in Paris. These included sixteen works by Nicholas Roerich.

In the years immediately preceding World War I, Roerich sensed an impending cataclysm, and his paintings symbolically depicted the awful scale of the conflict he felt descending upon the world.

In 1915 Roerich became ill with pneumonia, and was sent by his doctor to recuperate with his family in Finland. This was a period of great unrest the world over, and no less so in the lives of the Roerich family.

By 1917 the revolution was raging in Russia and returning there would have been dangerous. The family began making plans to visit India, whose magnetic appeal had been felt increasingly during these years. This became a possibility in 1918 when Roerich was invited to exhibit his paintings in Stockholm. From there the family proceeded to London.
An invitation to come to America was extended by the Chicago Art Institute. It was accepted, and the tour opened successfully at the Kingore Gallery in New York in 1920. In addition to exhibiting over 400 paintings there and in many cities throughout the United States, Roerich designed the scenery and costumes for productions of two plays for the Chicago Opera Company.

In 1921, in New York, he founded the Master Institute of United Arts, in which he planned to realize the educational concepts he had incorporated into the curriculum in St. Petersburg.

During their stay in America the Roerichs continued to plan for the voyage to India. In 1923, the Roerichs were at last on their way to India, and began a tour of cultural centers and historic sites, meeting Indian scientists, scholars, artists, and writers along the way.
By the end of December they were already in Sikkim on the southern slopes of the Himalayas.
They initiated a journey of exploration that would take them into Chinese Turkestan, Altai, Mongolia and Tibet. It was an expedition into untracked regions where they planned to study the religions, languages, customs, and culture of the inhabitants.

At the end of their major expedition, in 1928, the family settled in the Kullu Valley in the Himalayan foothills. Here they established their home and the headquarters of the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute, which activities included botanical and ethnological-linguistic studies, and the exploration of archeological sites.

In the following year, on a trip back to New York for the opening of the Roerich Museum's new premises, Roerich raised an issue that had been close to his heart for many years. Using the Red Cross as an example, he proposed a treaty for the protection of cultural treasures during times of both war and peace. In consultation with lawyers versed in international law, he drafted a Pact, and suggested that a flag would be flown over all places under its protection. This flag he called the Banner of Peace. The design of the Banner shows three spheres surrounded by a circle, in magenta color on a white background. Of the many national and individual 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. In this sign and the motto, Pax Cultura, that accompanies it, is symbolized Roerich's vision for humanity.

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 - man's aspirations nourished by his directed will and by the energy of thought. Finally, he believed that peace on Earth was a prerequisite to planetary survival and the continuing process of spiritual evolution, and he exhorted his fellow man to help achieve that peace by uniting in the common language of Beauty and Knowledge.

Nicholas Roerich died in Kullu on December 13, 1947. His body was cremated and its ashes buried on a slope facing the mountains he loved and portrayed in many of his nearly seven thousand works.

Nicholas Roerich was as prolific a writer as he was a painter. He wrote books, poetry, and almost-daily commentaries on life and events, called Diary Leaves.

Excerpt from the Nicholas Roerich biography.
Text and photo - © Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, USA.

Internetni viri

Online resources

Nicholas Roerich Museum
Nicholas Roerich na Wikipediji
International Roerich Memorial Trust
Roerichovo gibanje na spletu
Center za mir preko kulture
Ruth Abrams Drayer,
Ameriška biografinja Nikolaja in Helene Roerich
Nicholas Roerich, Nanjunda Rao
Pax Cultura na straneh:
Nicholas Roerich Museum / Pax Cultura in
Wikipedije
Nicholas Roerich - Prapori vzhoda
Nicholas Roerich Temple

Nicholas Roerich Museum
Nicholas Roerich on Wikipedia
International Roerich Memorial Trust
Roerich-Movement in Internet
Center for Peace Through Culture
Ruth Abrams Drayer,
American biographer of Nicholas & Helena Roerich
Nicholas Roerich by Nanjunda Rao
Pax Cultura on:
Nicholas Roerich Museum / Pax Cultura and
Wikipedia
Nicholas Roerich - Banners of the East
Nicholas Roerich Temple

Slike

Paintings

Nicholas Roerich Museum / Paintings
Roerichov virtualni muzej
Ruski državni muzej
Oglethorpe University Museum
Slike N. Roericha na spletu
Slike Nikolaja Roericha
Nicholas Roerich / Fine Art Posters
Nicholas Roerich Museum / Paintings
Roerich Virtual Museum
State Russian Museum
Oglethorpe University Museum
Paintings of N. Roerich online
Paintings of Nicholas Roerich
Nicholas Roerich / Fine Art Posters
Besedila Writings

Altaj-Himalaja
Plamen v kelihu
Nepremagljivi
Kraljestvo Luči
Eseji
Shambala
Diamant
Tseilon-Himalaja
Srce Azije
Himavat
Sikkim
Umetniki življenja
Moryjino cvetje
Rusija
Prapor
Znamenja
Sveta ura
Kultura - civilizacija
Ognjeni branik
Roerichovo kraljestvo I
Roerichovo kraljestvo II
Beseda
Blagoslovljene poti
Vrata v prihodnost
Glej angleška elektronska besedila na:
Nicholas Roerich Museum / Writings
ali ruska na:
Nicholas Roerich Works
Nicholas Roerich Essays

Altai-Himalaya
Flame in Chalice
Invincible
Realm of Light
Essays
Shambala
Adamant
Tseilon-Himalayas
Heart of Asia
Himavat
Sikkim
Artists of Life
Flowers of Moria
Russia
Banner
Omens
Sacred Watch
Culture - Civilization
Fiery Stronghold
Realm of Roerich I
Realm of Roerich II
Word
Blessed Paths
Gates into the Future
See online texts on:
Nicholas Roerich Museum / Writings
or in Russian on:
Nicholas Roerich Works
Nicholas Roerich Essays

Citati iz "Nicholas Roerich - The Messanger of Beauty"

Quotes from "Nicholas Roerich - The Messenger of Beauty"