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Nicholas Roerich (Russian, 1874-1947)


Also known as:  Nikolaj Konstantinovic Roerich; Roehrich, Nikolay Konstantinovich; Roerich, Nicolai Konstantinowitsch; Roerich, Nicolas; Roerich, Nikolaj Konstantinovic; Roerich, Nikolaj Konstantinovic; Roerich, Sviatoslav; Rerih, Nikolaj Konstantinovic; Rerikh, Nikolai Konstantinovich; Ryorikh, Nikolay; Ryorikh, Nikolay Konstantinovich

Birth Place: Saint Petersburg (Sankt-Peterburg autonomous city, Rossiya republic, Russia)

Nicholas Roerich, was a well-known Russian painter, lawyer, philosopher, writer and archaeologist. Nicholas also enjoyed designing costumes and sets for the opera. He was born October 9, 1874 in Saint Petersburg, Russia, the son of Konstantin and Maria Roerich. His father was a well to do lawyer and notary public. Raised in St. Petersburg, he attended St. Petersburg University and the Imperial Academy of Arts, concurrently, in 1893.

In 1897, he attained the title of artist; in 1898, he received his degree in law. He obtained employment with Encouragement of the Arts from 1906 to 1917. Roerich is known for depicting Russia’s ancient past in his paintings such as one of his most famous, Borodin's Prince Igor. He also designed the set for Igor Stravinsky’s The Right of Spring and Diaghilev's Ballets Russes, for which he was quite famous.

Roerich was an intelligent and talented man shown by several nominations for the Nobel Peace Prize. The United States and most of the nations that belonged to the Pan-American Union signed the Roerich Pact into law in April 1935.

Roerich married Helena Shaposhnikov, daughter of an architect and they had two sons, George and Sviatoslav. Around 1900 to 1910, Nicholas and Helena became interested in eastern religions, which inspired a trip to India.

During Nicholas Roerich’s lifetime, he created nearly 7,000 pieces. He died in December 13, 1947 in Kullu, Himachal Pradesh, India. He left in his path large footprints to fill.

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