Supported by The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation
Supported by The Ministry of Culture of the Russian Federation

The State Museum of Oriental Art

Nicholas Roerich Museum. New York

Saint-Petersburg state Roerich family Museum and Institute


Авторы настоящего портала, исходя из общепринятой методики описания музейных предметов, используя свои научные разработки, основываясь на своих коллекциях, привлекая данных из всех источников (музейные собрания, частные коллекции, публикации), предполагают составить каталог работ Н.К. Рериха. Каталог будет содержать сведения не только о завершенных картинах, но и об эскизах, набросках, этюдах.

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Информация, на которой будет строиться каталог Н.К.Рериха, будет включать:


1.1. Авторское название.

1.2. Название в месте нахождения.

1.3. Другие известные названия.

2. Дата создания.

3. Техника, материалы.

4. Размеры в сантиметрах (без рамы).

5. Авторская подпись и другие пометы на лице произведения. Наличие или отсутствие. Место расположения.

6. Описание тыльной стороны; наличие или отсутствие помет, наклеек и т.п.

7. Место нахождения произведения (музей, частная коллекция, неустановленное место).

8. Провенанс (история происхождения)

9. Участие в выставках.

10. Библиография.

11. Сохранность произведения.

11.1.Наличие или отсутствие реставрации. При наличии - реставрационные документы.

12. Изображение лицевой стороны.

12.1. Изображение тыльной стороны (закрытая информация)

13. Краткое описание.

14. Примечания.

* * *

Collection of drawings and sketches from the funds of the Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York

The Nicholas Roerich Museum (New York) keeps a collection of more than five hundred works of the artist's drawings and colourful sketches.

About seventy works refer to the period of his admission and study at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg in 1893-1897.

In the summer of 1893, Nicholas Roerich created thirty pencil drawings in Izvara, Roerichs' estate near St. Petersburg, in connection with his preparation for admission and study at the Academy. These were natural and rural landscapes, sketches of residential and public buildings, figurative and portrait sketches. Roerich leaned toward the landscape genre, as he had been keen on hunting from his early age. For nowadays, two drawings are of particular value. Both of them, depicting a manor house, served as a guide for reconstruction of the building, holding the Nicholas Roerich Museum-Estate in Izvar since 1984.

The collection contains more than three dozen different drawings and sketches in pencil, charcoal, pen, and brush, as the artist developed various artistic technique using graphite, coal, watercolours, gouache, and ceruse. These are landscapes, portraits, hunting, fishing, and village sketches, genre scenes from contemporary life, as well as from Slavic and Scandinavian past. Nicholas Roerich's general interests and creative aspirations are apparent in the very first period of his becoming an artist.

About thirty drawings represent coastal and insular landscapes of the Ladoga Lake near Karelian town of Serdobol (now, Sortavala). There Roerich spent most of 1917–1918 period, which was brief, vivid and fruitful as for his personal and creative life (both in artistic and literary sense).

Two art trips around America play a special part in Roerich's creative heritage: in 1921, he travelled to the southwest of the USA, New Mexico and Arizona states; and in 1922, he was on the island of Monchigan near the northeastern coast of the country.

Road albums for sketching and individual graphic sheets, brought by the artist from his first trip, comprise three dozen drawings with Arizona and New Mexico landscapes, images of indigenous adobe settlements called pueblo, scenes of ritual dances of Native Americans, as well as views of architectural and archaeological monuments, which are now well-known in this region.

The natural views of Monchigan Island landscape, captured in more than thirty pencil drawings, served as the basis for a large painting series of the same name, also known as "Ocean" suite.

More than twenty drawings refer to 1924. This year was the period when Roerich has plunged into the Himalayan world for the first time, while staying and travelling to the Kingdom of Sikkim. There the artist searched for a creative approach to a new high-mountainous landscape and the types of Buddhist monasteries. The following drawings are of special importance: sketches of the tops of Kanchenjunga and Everest, as well as pencil sketches for the paintings, represented in "His Country" and "Banners of the East" series.

About a dozen drawings of 1925 are connected with the route of the large Roerich's Central Asian expedition to the Himalayan land of Ladakh. The level of artistic elaboration of these graphic landscapes clearly shows the growth of the master's art technique in working with the material, which was completely new for him.

In the 1930s, Roerich spent most of his life in his acquired estate in the Himalayan valley of Kullu. In this period, Roerich made about thirty drawings of the described collection. Primarily, he drew mountain landscapes and types of Buddhist monasteries in Kullu and in neighboring Lahul valley, as well as sketches to genre paintings. It is noteworthy that some works differ from the others, e.g. a small detailed picture of the Hindu "walking on fire" rite and a graphic sheet with a sketch of typical petroglyph images from the Stone Age to the Buddhist era.

About a hundred drawings are associated with the artist's work on compositions and individual fragments, images and characters for later famous paintings and sketches for monumental art works.

Three dozen drawings show us Roerich's work on the creation of sketches of scenery and costumes for stage productions. Among them, we see Rimsky-Korsakov's "The Maid of Pskov", "The Tale of Tsar Saltan", and "The Golden Cockerel"; Mussorgsky's "Khovanshchina" and "Boris Godunov"; Rachmaninov's "The Covetous Knight", Borodin's "Prince Igor", Wagner's "Tristan and Isolde", and, of course, Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring" where the artist himself was the author of the original idea and the libretto.