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

Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich

Main name
Гималаи. Озеро Баралача
Author name
Bara-lacha Pass. Lake in Himalayas
tempera on paper
19,5×36 cm
25751 КП
5502 II
Location of the works
The State Museum of Oriental Art

The work “Kunlun” was created by the artist following his fresh impressions after the Central Asian expedition in 1928. The expedition first saw Kun-Lun in 1925, on the way to the Chinese border: “October the 3rd. Again heaps of stones. (...) We passed some strange walls, turned into piles of cobblestones. We gradually get down; we already see some flat walls. Someone came out to meet us. (…) In the middle of the wide Russian plain, surrounded by snow mountains, there is an adobe square – Kurul. We see temptingly silver Kun-Lun in the distance.”

(N. Roerich. Altai – Himalayas.)

Already in Hotan, the artist again admired Kun-Lun: “We see pink Shi-Shan in the morning light turns from the windows, like pink and lilac distant Kun-Lun from Hotan.”

(N. Roerich. Half a Century. Pages of My Diary. Vol. 1.)

On the way to Tibet, in 1927, the expedition again passed near Kun-Lun: “It was strange to pass first through a dry sandy desert and to feel that to the west from us begins the most little-explored Highlands of Kuen-Lun. Gradually, the sands were replaced by hardened salt deposits, the remains of the former lake, and the caravan entered a kind of an endless cemetery consisting of heaps of sharp salt plates. We had to pass the most dangerous place in the twilight, and then in the moonlight.”

(N. Roerich. The Heart of Asia.)

But Kun-Lun for the artist was not just a “beautiful” mountain ridge; he believed that “north of Kailash, in the direction of Kuen-Lun and Cherchen, lay the so-called Argyavarsha, from where Kalki Avatar was expected to come”.

(N. Roerich. The Heart of Asia.)