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Nicholas Roerich (1874 - 1947)

Lot 47: f - Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich, 1874-1947 , Himself Came oil on canvas

Sotheby's

November 26, 2007
London, United Kingdom

More About this Item


Description

signed with artist's cypher in Cyrillic l.l. and dated 1922 oil on canvas

Dimensions

102 by 75cm., 40 by 29 1/2 in.

Exhibited

New York, 312 West 54th Street, One-day Private View of New Paintings by Nicholai Roerich, 27 March 1923, No.2

Literature

Roerich, New York: Corona Mundi, 1924, illustrated plate 47
'N.Roerich: List of Paintings 1917-1924', Nicholas Roerich Museum archive, No.11
'Paintings by Nicholas Roerich: Complete List of the Works by Nichoals Roerich, arranged in chronological order, with the names of the owners', in F.Grant et al., Roerich. Himalaya', New York: Brentano's Publishers, 1926, p.199
A.V. Yamarenko, Nicolai Konstantinovich Roerich, His Life and Creations during the Past Forty Years, 1889-1929, New York: Central Book Company, 1931, plate 79
B.D.Conlan, Roerich, Riga, The Roerich Museum, 1939, p.51
V. Ivanov et al., Roerich, Riga, The Roerich Museum, 1939, p.71
V.Petrov and A.Kamensky, Association artistique russe du début du XXe siècle: Le Monde de l'Art, Leningrad: Aurora, 1991,p.231 listed as Saint Serge est sorti lui-même

Provenance

Louis and Nettie Horch, USA from 1922
Charles Posusta

Notes

PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, USA
The canvas Himself Came strikes the viewer with its very intimate and direct approach to a highly esoteric subject matter. That might be the reason why it was not included in the series of six paintings "Sancta" which was created at same time, and in which Nicholas Roerich expressed the same longing for higher values in life. Although he incorporates elements of religious imagery, the artist's message is anything but religious in the ordinary sense of the word. It is a blueprint of the link between the human and the divine, and of the means by which spiritual development is accomplished. The lower part of the painting shows the aspiring souls, who look up to a saintly figure descending from above to offer guidance and inspiration. This is almost certainly St. Sergius of Radonezh, one of the most beloved and revered Russian saints. To Nicholas Roerich he was a very real and ever-present being, a Master to be loved and followed, the soul's true guide from darkness into light. Images of St. Sergius and his white chapel appear in numerous paintings from 1930s and 1940s; in them the artist, as a rule, is addressing the general public. In Himself Came, on the other hand, Roerich speaks directly to an individual, and, in this respect, the canvas approaches the status of an icon. We are grateful to Gvido Trepsa, Senior Researcher, Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, for providing this note.

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