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

Nicholas Konstantinovich Roerich

Author name
tempera on canvas
74 × 118 cm
Signatures, notes:

Монограмма справа внизу

Location of the works
Nicholas Roerich Museum. New York

Roerich Museum, New York (1929); Louis & Nettie Horch col., New York (1935); Magdalene Lehrer col., USA (1950s); Nicholas Roerich Museum (1965)

In the spring of 1929, Nikolay Konstantinovich explored the neighborhood of his new dwelling in Naggar. He admired the beauties of Ancient Kuluta and depicted what he saw in the drawings and paintings. And, of course, he could not help visiting the temple of Krishna, which was not far from their home. According to legend, the temple was built by the Pandavas themselves, and in the 17th century it was reconstructed by the local prince. Here, not far away, there were the ruins of the ancient town of Tava (Thava), built by the heroes of the Mahabharata. In the picture, Krishna, in the incarnation of "Venougopal" (playing the flute), awakens all living things: "The Presence, the Great Presence fills nature", the artist wrote in his essay "He". Flowers of trees in gentle pastel colors are combined with pearly gleams on the blue foothills and snow tops of the sacred Davita. In the distance, we can see green crops in the fields, but the main colors are tones of blue. Krishna is a part of the spring celebration of the nature, and he, as its creator, does not rise above it, but forms a single whole with it. The viewer watches the action from afar, as if he observed a live play against the background of the majestic Davita, which, with its snowy peaks, recalls the inconceivable mystery and power of the mountains that embodied the Supreme World in the eyes of the artist.

"In the Silver Valley, the Great Shepherd called to life all living things with the silver sounds of his flute. He appeals for joy. And apple, pear, cherry, plum trees respond to this appeal with their lush bloom. Willow trees open their fluffy flowers; apricot trees became lilac. A walnut tree is covered with yellow blossom, and the reviving juice of deodars flows like a healing nectar. Under the apple trees covered with pink blossom, the eternal Krishna plays his divine songs of rebirth on his flute".

N.K. Roerich. "The Gods of Kuluta".