Articles / Roerich, Nikolay Konstantinovich (1874 - 1947), an artist

Roerich, Nikolay Konstantinovich (1874 - 1947), an artist

Subject / Art/Personnel

NICHOLAS ROERICH (Rerikh, Nikolai Konstantinovich) (1874–1947), artist, archeologist, traveler. In the period 1893-97 he studied simultaneously at the Law Department of St.Petersburg University and at the Imperial Academy of Arts in the class of painting taught by A.I. Kuindzhi, he became an academician in 1909. In the period 1901-06 Rerikh worked as a secretary at the Emperor’s Art Encouragement Society (since 1906 he was a head of the Drawing School at the Society). He was a member of the Association “Mir Iskusstva” (“World of Art”) (in 1910-13 – a chairman) and of the Union of Russian Artists (1903-13). In the period 1911-13 he made stage designs for performances “Russkiye Sezony” (“Russian Seasons”), arranged by S.P. Diaghilev in Paris. In the summer 1917 Rerikh took part in the work of a Committee for Arts Affairs under the Provisional Government. In 1918 he moved abroad. In the periods 1923-28 and 1934-35 he was a participant of expeditions across the Himalayas. In 1928 he settled down in India. Rerikh was a founder of the Institute of Himalayan Studies “Urusvati” in Nagarra (India, 1929-42), an initiator of international pact for the protection of artistic and academic institutions and historical sites (“Roerich’s Pact”, 1929). In his philosophical works Rerikh propagated the idea of spiritual transformation of life. Subjects of his paintings (more than 7000) were taken from Old Russian history (“Gonets”(“Courier”), 1897), from Indian and Tibetan nature and mythology (“Pomny” (“Remember”), 1945). Rerikh is an author of 27 books with essays and diaries. From 1880s to 1914 he spent summer months in Izvara estate owned by his father (ref. Izvara, estate). There Rerikh started to learn painting from an artist M.O. Mikeshin, he painted his first sketches, worked on pictures “Plach Yaroslavny” (“Lamentation o Yaroslav’s Daughter”), “Svyatopolk Okayanny” (“Cursed Svyatopolk”), “Idol” (“Idol”), etc . Rerikh several times carried out archeological excavations on the territory of the modern Volosovo District (including Izvara Village). In 1918 he spent some time in Vyborg Town, where exhibition of his paintings was held. In 1984 N.K. Rerikh’s estate museum was opened to the public.

Kruzhnov, Yuri Nikolayevich

Diaghilev, Sergey Pavlovich
Kuindzhi, Arkhip Ivanovich
Mikeshin, Mikhail Osipovich
Roerich, Nikolay Konstantinovich

Leningrad Oblast, the/Volosovo District/Izvara Village
Leningrad Oblast, the/Vyborg District/Vyborg Town

Беликов П. Ф., Князева В. П. Рёрих. М., 1973
Короткина Л. В. Рерих в Петербурге-Петрограде. Л., 1985
Держава Рериха: [Сб.]. М., 1994
Николай Рерих и ИРАО. URL:
Петербургский Рериховский сборник. Вып. 2-3. Самара, 1999

Subject Index
Izvara, a country estate
The museum-estate of N.K. Roerich