Топ-лотом среди живописи на аукционе Christie`s признано полотно Николая Рериха «Легенда».

Оно написано в 1923 году и является одной из трех входящих в серию работ художника под названием «Мессия» (эстимейт — 700-900 тыс. евро). На картине человек в древнерусском одеянии изучает манускрипт на фоне гористого пейзажа, навеянного очертаниями Гранд-Каньона в Аризоне.

Nicholas Roerich. Legend

Lot 427
Lot Description

Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
Legend, from the series Messiah
mixed media on canvas
28¾ x 81¼ in. (73 x 206.5 cm.)
Painted in 1923

Estimate
    £700,000 — £900,000

  • ($1,145,200 — $1,472,400)
Sale Information

Sale 7772
Russian Art
2 December 2009
London, King Street

Born the son of a well-known notary who had hopes his boy would opt for a career in law, Nicholas Roerich’s artistic inclination and talent were evident from a young age; the piece he produced for his graduation from the St Petersburg Academy, Messenger: Tribe Has Risen Against Tribe (1897), was purchased by Pavel Tretyakov for the astute collector’s gallery in Moscow. In order to contextualize and understand Roerich’s paintings however, it is insufficient to consider him simply as a painter or even as a painter, writer, scientist, explorer and philosopher. Rather, his work should be understood as a concrete manifestation of his overarching philosophy as concerns divine unity and pan-human spirituality. His fervent desire for world peace inspired him to embark on a 16,000-mile expedition with his wife Helena through Central Asia, to Kullu in the Himalayas, where, in 1928, he founded a research station and developed his philosophy centered around his core belief that art would unite humanity. This concept is captured in the credo for the Master Institute of United Arts which Roerich founded in New York in November 1921:

‘Art will unify all humanity. Art is one — indivisible. Art has its many branches, yet all are one. Art is the manifestation of the coming synthesis. Art is for all. Everyone will enjoy true art. The gates of the ‘sacred source’ must be opened wide for everybody and the light of art will ignite numerous hearts with a new love.’

The premium Roerich placed on the role of art as spiritual salvation was exemplified in his proposition for a global agreement intended to ensure that artifacts of cultural significance were protected in periods of unrest. This became known as the Roerich Peace Pact and was signed with Franklin Roosevelt bearing witness in 1935.

Evgeny Matochkin suggests that the three paintings of the Messiah series are ‘the most secret and mysterious of the artist’s works’ (Nicholas Roerich, 2008) adding that the present work was evidently much inspired by the ‘immensity of the Grand Canyon and the pure calm of the cosmos in Arizona’ (ibid). In his biography of the artist Garabed Paelian writes that Roerich ‘…learned things ignored by other men; perceived relations between seemingly isolated phenomena, and unconsciously felt the presence of an unknown treasure’ (Nicholas Roerich, 1974). The word ‘treasure’ figures in the title of many of his paintings including: Treasure of the Mountain, Hidden Treasure and Treasure of the Angels. The titles allude to spiritual rather than physical treasure which lies buried but can become accessible to those willing to undergo the necessary contemplation. The figure in Legend, engrossed in script, is pursuing knowledge and will subsequently receive spiritual riches. The presence of the settlement in the background confirms that this notion is worldly; the treasures are not reserved for spiritual leaders but are available to man en masse.

We are grateful to Gvido Trepsa and The Roerich Museum, New York, for their assistance with the cataloguing of the present lot.

christies.com

Nicholas Roerich Near the Tibetan frontier

Lot 428
Lot Description

Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
Near the Tibetan frontier
tempera on canvas laid down on board
12 x 15¾ in. (30.5 x 40 cm.)

Estimate

    £15,000 — £20,000

  • ($24,540 — $32,720)

christies.com

Rocks and Cliffs

Lot 429

Lot Description

Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
Rocks and Cliffs, from the series Ladoga
with later added monogram (lower left); further numbered ‘157’ (on the frame)
tempera on board
12 x 16 in. (30.2 x 40.4 cm.)
Painted in 1917/1918

christies.com

Stupa

Lot 430

Lot Description

Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)
Stupa, from the series Himalayas
numbered ‘521’ (on the reverse)
tempera on canvas laid down on board
11½ x 16 in. (29.8 x 40.3 cm.)
Painted in 1924

Estimate

* £30,000 — £50,000 ($49,080 — $81,800)

Sale Information

Sale 7772
Russian Art
2 December 2009
London, King Street

christies.com

A Tibetan woman

Lot 431

Lot Description
Svetoslav Roerich (1904-1993)
A Tibetan woman
signed, dated, and numbered ‘#12/SVETOSLAV ROERICH/N.Y.C. 1924’ (on the reverse)
oil and tempera on canvas laid down on board
31½ x 25½ in. (80.4 x 65.1 cm.)
Painted in 1924
Estimate

* £40,000 — £60,000 ($65,440 — $98,160)

Sale Information

Sale 7772
Russian Art
2 December 2009
London, King Street

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