Q. Where/When did Nicholas Roerich born?
Ans: Nicholas Roerich was born in St. Petersburg in Russia on 9th October 1874 but stayed in India.
Q. What were the education qualifications of Nicholas Roerich?
Ans: Nicholas Roerich studied art, history and philosophy, law, and archaeology. He simultaneously got admission to the “Academy of Art in St. Petersburg University” in the Faculty of Law and in the Institute of Archaeology and studied all these subjects.
Q. How many countries did Nicholas Roerich travel in his lifetime?
Ans: Nicholas Roerich traveled to Russia, Europe, Central Asia, Mongolia, Tibet, China, Japan, and India.
Q. How did Nicholas Roerich become a painter?
- Nicholas Roerich in his childhood was much fancied to the ideals of world-famous artists like ‘Leonardo de-Vinci‘ and Michael Angelo‘ and tried to adopt them in his creations.
- It was in 1928 at the age of fifty-four, he came face to face with the Himalayas.
- He was so much enthralled by the beauty of the Himalayas, that the last two decades of his life, he spent in Kullu valley.
- Kullu valley was not just a hill resort for him. He took it as a land of penance and in the benign grace of the Himalayas. He realised his life long-cherished dream.
- In his life span of 73 years, Roerich enriched various fields of science and philosophy but mainly he emerged as an immortal painter.
- There is hardly any museum or art gallery in any big city in India, America, and Europe where there does not exist paintings of Roerich, signifying some aspects or mood of the Himalayas.
- In 1929, In America, a twenty-nine storey building was erected in his honour where his paintings were housed.
- Roerich had painted 7000 canvas on the Himalayas.
- He established the Master Institute of United Arts and International Art Centre.
- He was the honorary Chairman of the Roerich Museum.
- The branches of the museum were opened in Europe, America, and in the East. There is an art gallery devoted to Roerich in ‘Naggar‘, a small village, formerly the capital of Kullu State in Kullu valley.
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Q. How is Devika Rani associated with Nicholas Roerich?
- Svetoslav Roerich was the son of Nicholas Roerich and Helena.
- Svetoslav Roerich married Devika Rani Chaudhuri was an actress in Indian films who was active during the 1930s and 1940s.
Q. About the ‘The Hall Estate’ or Roerich Art Gallery, Naggar, Kullu?
- Near the Naggar castle is located a beautiful cottage and estate of the late Russian painter Nicholas Roerich.
- He visited India for the first time in 1923 and painted enchanting landscapes on canvas.
- He liked Naggar so much that he returned in 1929 and bought what was then called ‘The Hall Estate’ with its cottage and adjoining land.
- He resided there till his death in December 1947.
- Prime Minister Jawahar Lal Nehru along with his daughter Indira visited Nicholas Roerich in 1942.
- The first lady of Indian screen Devika Rani and her husband Svetoslav Roerich often lived in the estate too.
- Svetoslav died at his Bangalore estate in 1993, after which Devika Rani donated the Hall Estate to the International Roerich Memorial Trust.
- Devika Rani passed away on March 9, 1994.
- This lovely cottage now houses some of the painter’s most famous works and is known as the Roerich Art Gallery.
Q. What were the famous works of Nicholas Roerich?
- Drops of Life, Pearls of Striving, Signs of Maitreya, Banners of the East, Tibetan Strongholds (painted during a stay in Kullu valley).
- Religion had always been a great source of inspiration or him. His main paintings related to the religious theme are; Saint Sergius Sancta Protectrix, Conflagration, Saintly Ghosts, Buddha- the Giver, Command of Rigden, Jyepo, Sri Krishan, and Kalki Avatara.
- Before the First World War began, he produced man paintings where the horrors of war were portrayed. These were; The Last Angel, Ominous Signs, Human Deeds, Doomed City, The Lurid Glare, The City of the Serpent, etc.
- The mural paintings of Kazan Railway in Moscow and Church of the Holy Spirit in Talash Kino are some of his earlier creations that are most commendable.
- Himalayas- the Abode of Light (1947) and Himavat (1947), Complete works (1914), Flowers of Morya (1921), Adamant (1925), Atlai Himalaya (1929), Heart of Asia (1929), Shambhala (1930), Fiery Stronghold (1933), Gates into the Future (1936), Beautiful Unity (1946).
The people of India revere Nicholas Roerich as a Maharishi (great sage). He died on 13th December 1947.