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The painting by Nicholas Roerich Svyatogor was painted during one of the most fascinating periods of the artist’s life. Now it is stored in the Moscow Museum of the East.
The heroic power and unshakable spirit of Russian epic heroes always attracted the painter and became the topic for several of his paintings. In the most difficult times for Russia, they stood up as a mighty wall on the borders of our Motherland.
One of the most poorly studied heroes of Russian epic stories is Svyatogor. There is no man who can defeat him, but he himself is not able to control his powerful heroic strength. He walks on the ground, above the tallest trees, he can reach the very sky. Under his mighty tread the cheese trembles and the earth leaves the shores of the sea and the lake. Only the mountains are able to withstand its power. And Svyatogor the hero is forced to live all the time in the mountains, only occasionally appearing in Russia. These deep philosophical motifs are confirmed in ancient Sanskrit manuscripts, linking Russian and Indian folklore with an invisible thread. It is to this topic that Roerich refers.
The artist painted Svyatogor during his interesting, but at the same time dangerous expedition to the Himalayas. In addition to his famous series of landscapes, he turns to the old Russian plot. We cannot know which mountains surround Svyatogor - located on Russian soil or is it the Himalayas. Also, in the very image of the hero, one can guess the duality - the Russian beard and the attributes of a warrior - his helmet and chain mail are combined with eastern features. In the face of Svyatogor one can also see the features of Nicholas Roerich himself, seeking the wisdom of a Russian man in distant Indian mountains.
Caravaggio Calling of the Apostle Matthew