Nicholas Roerich

A visionary and idealist, Roerich promoted peace and the protection of the world's cultural heritage, the unity of religions, and the notion that the creative people of the world bear the responsibility to save the world.

"Nicholas Roerich... 20th century renaissance man.
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..."

"...His mountain paintings are unmatched in their breadth, depth and scope. It’s almost like stepping into an alternate universe where mountains perform the roles of deity, habitat, scenery and a spiritual challenge all at once. And that’s just on one level. At another, they are masterful studies in light and tone.

In no other artist’s depiction of mountains have I seen geography consistently appearing as fully fledged characters....

Although Roerich has as distinct a style as any painter, no 2 mountain studies are similar, even when he’s painting the same mountain from essentially the same vantage point, as [his] superlative studies of Kanchendzonga show.

Over the years, you can see his style change. From real, tangible geography, his paintings seem to turn inwards, as he washes the paintings more, giving more of a hint of indistinctness and interpretive haze. They become even more metaphorical, but even then they’re never anything other than mountains, because that’s all they need to be in Roerich’s paintings. It reminds me of the Zen Buddhist saying, “You look at the Void, and the Void looks back at you.”
Even without delving too deep in his symbolism, its impossible not to come away from this huge and varied body of art without a profound sense of peace."
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