Nicholas Roerich Museum

Nicholas Roerich Museum The mission of the Nicholas Roerich Museum is to make available to the public the full range of Roerich’s accomplishments.
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Excerpt from the book “Heroica” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full text and b...
05/30/2021

Excerpt from the book “Heroica” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Krishna,” painted by Roerich in 1929.

Excerpt from the book “Heroica” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Krishna,” painted by Roerich in 1929.

Today marks the 108th anniversary of the first performance of The Rite of Spring at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Pa...
05/29/2021

Today marks the 108th anniversary of the first performance of The Rite of Spring at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Roerich was an integral part of the production, as he worked closely with Stravinsky to develop the concept, set designs and costumes.

Roerich revisited The Rite of Spring throughout his career. The backdrop pictured here was done for a 1930 production in Philadelphia.

Eighteen years after working on the original production, Roerich reflected that “during these years we have witnessed how in all of Asia the eternal rhythm of ‘Sacre’ resounds in the holy mountains and in the deserts where the songs are presented.” When he was traveling through Kashmir and saw the torch dances of the Spring festival, he thought of the “powerful musical concepts of Stravinsky.” (“Beautiful Unity”)

To read more from “Beautiful Unity,” please go to roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book.

Today marks the 108th anniversary of the first performance of The Rite of Spring at the Théâtre des Champs-Élysées in Paris. Roerich was an integral part of the production, as he worked closely with Stravinsky to develop the concept, set designs and costumes.

Roerich revisited The Rite of Spring throughout his career. The backdrop pictured here was done for a 1930 production in Philadelphia.

Eighteen years after working on the original production, Roerich reflected that “during these years we have witnessed how in all of Asia the eternal rhythm of ‘Sacre’ resounds in the holy mountains and in the deserts where the songs are presented.” When he was traveling through Kashmir and saw the torch dances of the Spring festival, he thought of the “powerful musical concepts of Stravinsky.” (“Beautiful Unity”)

To read more from “Beautiful Unity,” please go to roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book.

Roerich’s “Path to Tibet” (1925) depicts Leh, the capital of Ladakh, a region in Northern India whose name literally mea...
05/28/2021

Roerich’s “Path to Tibet” (1925) depicts Leh, the capital of Ladakh, a region in Northern India whose name literally means "land of high passes.”

Like in many of his paintings of remote, mountainous regions, Roerich
blurs the boundaries between man-made and natural structures. Buildings fade into the purple tones of the mountain range behind it. And as the jagged outline of rocks continues upwards, it almost imperceptibly morphs into the outline of a fortress.⠀

If you’d like to see this and other paintings from our collection, please go to roerich.org, where you can browse our online catalogue.

Roerich’s “Path to Tibet” (1925) depicts Leh, the capital of Ladakh, a region in Northern India whose name literally means "land of high passes.”

Like in many of his paintings of remote, mountainous regions, Roerich
blurs the boundaries between man-made and natural structures. Buildings fade into the purple tones of the mountain range behind it. And as the jagged outline of rocks continues upwards, it almost imperceptibly morphs into the outline of a fortress.⠀

If you’d like to see this and other paintings from our collection, please go to roerich.org, where you can browse our online catalogue.

Excerpt from the book “Beautiful Unity” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full te...
05/27/2021

Excerpt from the book “Beautiful Unity” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is decor for Stravinsky’s ballet, “Le Sacre du Printemps,” painted by Roerich in 1944.

Excerpt from the book “Beautiful Unity” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is decor for Stravinsky’s ballet, “Le Sacre du Printemps,” painted by Roerich in 1944.

“Path to Kailas” (1932) depicts a scene on the way to Kailas (or Kailash), a peak in the Himalayas that is considered to...
05/26/2021

“Path to Kailas” (1932) depicts a scene on the way to Kailas (or Kailash), a peak in the Himalayas that is considered to be sacred in Hinduism, Bon, Buddhism, and Jainism. Pilgrims traveled through Naggar, where the Roerichs lived, towards Kailas, so Roerich had firsthand experience in observing pilgrims on their journeys. One common misconception is that this painting depicts Kailas. None of the mountains here are actually Kailas.

In ‘Himalayas—Abode of Light,’ Roerich recalls a conversation with a Lama, in which “we spoke of the mountain Kailas, of the hermits who even now live in the caves of this wondrous mountain, filling space with their evocative calls to righteousness.”

If you’d like to read more from ‘Himalayas—Abode of Light,’ please go to roerich.org, where you can find the full text and buy the book.

“Path to Kailas” (1932) depicts a scene on the way to Kailas (or Kailash), a peak in the Himalayas that is considered to be sacred in Hinduism, Bon, Buddhism, and Jainism. Pilgrims traveled through Naggar, where the Roerichs lived, towards Kailas, so Roerich had firsthand experience in observing pilgrims on their journeys. One common misconception is that this painting depicts Kailas. None of the mountains here are actually Kailas.

In ‘Himalayas—Abode of Light,’ Roerich recalls a conversation with a Lama, in which “we spoke of the mountain Kailas, of the hermits who even now live in the caves of this wondrous mountain, filling space with their evocative calls to righteousness.”

If you’d like to read more from ‘Himalayas—Abode of Light,’ please go to roerich.org, where you can find the full text and buy the book.

Roerich’s “Elijah the Prophet” (1931) depicts the biblical story of Elijah as he ascends upwards above the Jordan River ...
05/25/2021

Roerich’s “Elijah the Prophet” (1931) depicts the biblical story of Elijah as he ascends upwards above the Jordan River in a fiery chariot. Roerich’s travel diaries mention Elijah: “Under various aspects…the prophet appears to defend the works of justice and piety. Mohammedans and Hindus, divided by many differences, equally reverence the prophet Elijah.” (“Altai-Himalaya”)

This passage reflects Roerich’s lifelong interest in studying the religions and philosophies of all cultures. In particular, he emphasizes the connections between different belief systems and how they share more than we often realize.

If you’d like to read more from “Altai-Himalaya,” please go to roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book.

Roerich’s “Elijah the Prophet” (1931) depicts the biblical story of Elijah as he ascends upwards above the Jordan River in a fiery chariot. Roerich’s travel diaries mention Elijah: “Under various aspects…the prophet appears to defend the works of justice and piety. Mohammedans and Hindus, divided by many differences, equally reverence the prophet Elijah.” (“Altai-Himalaya”)

This passage reflects Roerich’s lifelong interest in studying the religions and philosophies of all cultures. In particular, he emphasizes the connections between different belief systems and how they share more than we often realize.

If you’d like to read more from “Altai-Himalaya,” please go to roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book.

In “Suget Pass” (1936), Roerich depicts what was a particularly difficult route for him and his party to travel through....
05/22/2021

In “Suget Pass” (1936), Roerich depicts what was a particularly difficult route for him and his party to travel through. Suget pass is the northernmost pass on the ancient caravan route between Leh in Ladakh and Yarkand in the Tarim Basin. Roerich wrote that “the ascent is almost imperceptible and it is not startling to see so many skeletons.” (‘Altai-Himalaya’)

Roerich acknowledges the harsh beauty of the landscape, saying that “the peace of nature forces you to forget the altitude.” He notes the “mournful design” of the white-purple mountains and how the bluish-black sky “pitilessly resounded” into the “bare spots of the snowy dust.”
⠀⠀
You can read more about Roerich’s travels in “Altai-Himalaya” by going to our website, roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book.

In “Suget Pass” (1936), Roerich depicts what was a particularly difficult route for him and his party to travel through. Suget pass is the northernmost pass on the ancient caravan route between Leh in Ladakh and Yarkand in the Tarim Basin. Roerich wrote that “the ascent is almost imperceptible and it is not startling to see so many skeletons.” (‘Altai-Himalaya’)

Roerich acknowledges the harsh beauty of the landscape, saying that “the peace of nature forces you to forget the altitude.” He notes the “mournful design” of the white-purple mountains and how the bluish-black sky “pitilessly resounded” into the “bare spots of the snowy dust.”
⠀⠀
You can read more about Roerich’s travels in “Altai-Himalaya” by going to our website, roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book.

Excerpt from the book “Beautiful Unity” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀Please go to our website, roerich.org, if you’d like to re...
05/21/2021

Excerpt from the book “Beautiful Unity” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to our website, roerich.org, if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Kuan-yin,” painted by Roerich in 1933.

Excerpt from the book “Beautiful Unity” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to our website, roerich.org, if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Kuan-yin,” painted by Roerich in 1933.

“The Miracle,” (1923) part of Roerich’s ‘Messiah’ series, depicts the anticipation of the coming messiah in a primeval s...
05/20/2021

“The Miracle,” (1923) part of Roerich’s ‘Messiah’ series, depicts the anticipation of the coming messiah in a primeval setting. The kneeling figures in the bottom left almost look like they’re part of the landscape as they face an aura of light coming from beyond the bridge.

The rocky landscape in this painting was inspired by Roerich’s visit to the Grand Canyon. He stayed in Santa Fe in the summer of 1921 and stopped at the Great Canyon for a day or two on his way to San Francisco.

If you’d like a print of this painting, please go to our website, roerich.org.

“The Miracle,” (1923) part of Roerich’s ‘Messiah’ series, depicts the anticipation of the coming messiah in a primeval setting. The kneeling figures in the bottom left almost look like they’re part of the landscape as they face an aura of light coming from beyond the bridge.

The rocky landscape in this painting was inspired by Roerich’s visit to the Grand Canyon. He stayed in Santa Fe in the summer of 1921 and stopped at the Great Canyon for a day or two on his way to San Francisco.

If you’d like a print of this painting, please go to our website, roerich.org.

Excerpt from the book “Himavat” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀Please go to our website, roerich.org, if you’d like to read the f...
05/19/2021

Excerpt from the book “Himavat” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to our website, roerich.org, if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Krishna,” painted by Roerich in 1929.

Excerpt from the book “Himavat” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to our website, roerich.org, if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Krishna,” painted by Roerich in 1929.

Roerich’s “Sunset” (1931) is part of his Kuluta series depicting Kulu Valley, which is nestled in the Himalayas at an el...
05/18/2021

Roerich’s “Sunset” (1931) is part of his Kuluta series depicting Kulu Valley, which is nestled in the Himalayas at an elevation of 6,500 feet. The Roerich family established their home there as well as the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute to study the results of their expeditions.

Kulu Valley has a rich cultural and spiritual history that continued to inspire Roerich for the rest of his life. In his diaries, Roerich wrote that “these are all places sacred to the three hundred and sixty gods of the glorious Kulu Valley, or as the ancient people called it, Kuluta.” (“Himavat”)

To read more from “Himavat,” please go to our website, roerich.org, where you can read to full text and buy the book.

Roerich’s “Sunset” (1931) is part of his Kuluta series depicting Kulu Valley, which is nestled in the Himalayas at an elevation of 6,500 feet. The Roerich family established their home there as well as the Urusvati Himalayan Research Institute to study the results of their expeditions.

Kulu Valley has a rich cultural and spiritual history that continued to inspire Roerich for the rest of his life. In his diaries, Roerich wrote that “these are all places sacred to the three hundred and sixty gods of the glorious Kulu Valley, or as the ancient people called it, Kuluta.” (“Himavat”)

To read more from “Himavat,” please go to our website, roerich.org, where you can read to full text and buy the book.

Roerich’s “Swamps of Tsaidam” (1936) is a tempera on cardboard sketch that depicts the stark landscape of Tsaidam, a bas...
05/17/2021

Roerich’s “Swamps of Tsaidam” (1936) is a tempera on cardboard sketch that depicts the stark landscape of Tsaidam, a basin in China that is part salt marsh and part desert.

Back when Roerich traveled through Tsaidan, the area was basically unexplored. In his diaries, he wonders about how “in the folds of these hills there may be much which is remarkable. Local legends spoke about buried cities and lost caravans.” (“Altai-Himalaya”) It was a place one wanted to cross as quickly as possible. Still, Roerich’s mind was always imagining what could be hidden in these remote regions.⠀⠀
⠀⠀
If you’d like to read more from “Altai-Himalaya,” where the quote above is from, please go to our website, roerich.org.

Roerich’s “Swamps of Tsaidam” (1936) is a tempera on cardboard sketch that depicts the stark landscape of Tsaidam, a basin in China that is part salt marsh and part desert.

Back when Roerich traveled through Tsaidan, the area was basically unexplored. In his diaries, he wonders about how “in the folds of these hills there may be much which is remarkable. Local legends spoke about buried cities and lost caravans.” (“Altai-Himalaya”) It was a place one wanted to cross as quickly as possible. Still, Roerich’s mind was always imagining what could be hidden in these remote regions.⠀⠀
⠀⠀
If you’d like to read more from “Altai-Himalaya,” where the quote above is from, please go to our website, roerich.org.

Roerich’s “Palden Lhamo” (1931) depicts a wrathful deity considered to the principal protector of Tibet. In his book “Fi...
05/16/2021

Roerich’s “Palden Lhamo” (1931) depicts a wrathful deity considered to the principal protector of Tibet. In his book “Fiery Stronghold,” Roerich mentions her in the context of his travels through Tibet:

“Not far from here is the waterfall, Palden Lhamo. Upon the rocks, nature itself has designed the figure of the austere goddess riding on her favorite mule: ‘See how the mule has raised its head and its right leg. Look how distinctly the head of the goddess is seen!’ We see, we see! And we hear the continuous song of the mountain stream.”

For many of his paintings, Roerich drew inspiration from the places he traveled, where the stories and legends of his subjects had originated.

To read more of “Fiery Stronghold,” please go to roerich.org, where you can access the full text or buy a copy of the book.

Roerich’s “Palden Lhamo” (1931) depicts a wrathful deity considered to the principal protector of Tibet. In his book “Fiery Stronghold,” Roerich mentions her in the context of his travels through Tibet:

“Not far from here is the waterfall, Palden Lhamo. Upon the rocks, nature itself has designed the figure of the austere goddess riding on her favorite mule: ‘See how the mule has raised its head and its right leg. Look how distinctly the head of the goddess is seen!’ We see, we see! And we hear the continuous song of the mountain stream.”

For many of his paintings, Roerich drew inspiration from the places he traveled, where the stories and legends of his subjects had originated.

To read more of “Fiery Stronghold,” please go to roerich.org, where you can access the full text or buy a copy of the book.

Excerpt from the book “Realm of Light” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full tex...
05/15/2021

Excerpt from the book “Realm of Light” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Guardian of the Chalice,” painted by Roerich in 1937.

Excerpt from the book “Realm of Light” by Nicholas Roerich. ⠀

Please go to roerich.org if you’d like to read the full text and buy the book.

The image depicted is “Guardian of the Chalice,” painted by Roerich in 1937.

Roerich’s “Chenrezi” (1932) depicts the Buddhist bodhisattva of the same name carved into a mountain that’s half-illumin...
05/14/2021

Roerich’s “Chenrezi” (1932) depicts the Buddhist bodhisattva of the same name carved into a mountain that’s half-illuminated by the sun.

In his book “Shambhala,” Roerich mentions where he came across an image of Chenrezi: “And then we spoke of That Place which lies to the north of Kailasa…The twilight fell and the whole room seemed enveloped in new significance. The image of Chenrezi, superbly embroidered upon the lustrous silk, which hung above the head of the Lama, seemed to glance down at us in a significant way.”

It’s interesting to see how Roerich chooses to depict Chenrezi carved into rock instead of on silk, though the twilight falling and enveloping the scene in significance seems to hold true here.

If you’d like to read more from “Shambhala,” please go to roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book. For an article in Tricycle magazine, in which Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche outlines the method of visualizing Chenrezi, click here: https://tricycle.org/magazine/chenrezi/

Roerich’s “Chenrezi” (1932) depicts the Buddhist bodhisattva of the same name carved into a mountain that’s half-illuminated by the sun.

In his book “Shambhala,” Roerich mentions where he came across an image of Chenrezi: “And then we spoke of That Place which lies to the north of Kailasa…The twilight fell and the whole room seemed enveloped in new significance. The image of Chenrezi, superbly embroidered upon the lustrous silk, which hung above the head of the Lama, seemed to glance down at us in a significant way.”

It’s interesting to see how Roerich chooses to depict Chenrezi carved into rock instead of on silk, though the twilight falling and enveloping the scene in significance seems to hold true here.

If you’d like to read more from “Shambhala,” please go to roerich.org, where you can read the full text and buy the book. For an article in Tricycle magazine, in which Dilgo Khyentse Rinpoche outlines the method of visualizing Chenrezi, click here: https://tricycle.org/magazine/chenrezi/

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