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Nikolay Konstantinovich Roerich is known in the world not only as a talented and original artist, but also as a major public figure. After the October Revolution of the seventeenth year, the artist emigrated, but also did not stop working abroad for the good of the Fatherland abroad. As the son of a famous notary, Nikolai initially wanted to go on a legal path, but life made its own adjustments - classes at A.I. Kuindzhi's studio and communication with famous artists gradually shifted the vector of interests of the young man towards painting. Archaeological excavations, which the future artist became interested in, also gave a great impetus to Roerich's talent as a painter. Throughout his life, on his canvases, he painted the beautiful and slightly fantastic world of Russian antiquity, singing traditional values. That is why he worked so much and often in the historical genre.
Since 1905, along with the theme of Ancient Russia, oriental motifs are also clearly visible in the artist’s work. Publishing an essay on India and Japan as a writer and journalist, Nikolai Konstantinovich writes a number of paintings devoted to these countries. The artist begins to study Indian religion and philosophy. In 1923, he and his family went to India and have been living in this country permanently since 1935. Perhaps this is the most fruitful period in the work of Roerich the Elder. At that time, his painting style underwent major changes, influenced by Tibetan painting. Many paintings are dedicated to Shambhala - the country of universal happiness from Tibetan legends.
On a self-portrait, Nikolai Konstantinovich depicted himself in the image of a Tibetan sage, a bearded old man. Behind him are the peaks of mountains, in which Jomolungma (Everest) is guessed, a mountain sacred to Tibetans. Perhaps the mythical Shambhala lies directly behind the artist; maybe at that very moment he creates one of his best works. The artist's face is soulful and calm, his eyes are fixed on the canvas. A self-portrait in adulthood against the background of the peaks of Tibet is very symbolic for Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich and very accurately reflects the final period of his life.
Makovsky Konstantin Egorovich Pictures