Brief Analysis: Nicholas Roerich

http://www.roerich.org
Check out the art of Russian painter Nicholas Roerich and derive inspiration! The powerful way with which he portrays the stark lucidity of the heights is a daily reminder of the power of art, as she aims to reveal harmonies of unknown truths before our very eyes, to ‘clothe the ideal’ in a perceptible form.

Such paintings are portals to a world beyond. Like clarity of truth, and spirit unveiled, they represent a struggle towards the top, the light of the sun and the cold winds of the summit. Roerich’s art cannot be described, thus, since I am unable to write anything without using quotes – or perhaps is it a trick to increase the word limit? – here are some greater men’s views on his art:

“Merritt has a wide acquaintance among mystical enthusiasts, and is a close friend of old Nicholas Roerich, the Russian painter whose weird Thibetan landscapes I have so long admired.” (to Robert H. Barlow, 13 January 1934) ~ H. P. Lovecraft

“Better than the surrealists, though, is good old Nick Roerich, whose joint at Riverside Drive and 103rd Street is one of my shrines in the pest zone. There is something in his handling of perspective and atmosphere which to me suggests other dimensions and alien orders of being—or at least, the gateways leading to such. Those fantastic carven stones in lonely upland deserts—those ominous, almost sentient, lines of jagged pinnacles—and above all, those curious cubical edifices clinging to precipitous slopes and edging upward to forbidden needle-like peaks!” (to James F. Morton, March 1937) ~ H. P. Lovecraft

Just read At the Mountains of Madness, partially inspired by Roerich’s works. Apocryphal expeditions in Asia, receiving instructions by ‘otherworldy masters’ and after becoming disillusioned with Communism’s pulverizing of Russian tradition, voluntarily exiling himself in Finland, are some of the things he did or claimed to have done. No wonder that this man was true to his art. He even attempted to create a geopolitical utopia and managed to make the Roerich treaty to protect culture. And as we know of the Dark Eldar and the Soviets, utopias pave the way for the return of the Great Old Ones, who they shall teach us ‘new ways to torture, new ways to kill’. Apparently Morbid Angel has also met those otherworldy masters (Visions from the Darkside) to formulate their future visions of a Hessian utopia of war, ponies and Lava, but as seen from the way they’ve chosen ‘the eternal mistake of mankind is to set up an attainable ideal’.

Nicholas Raerich, among else, was a fanatic amateur archaeologist, explorer, student of history, theosophist and founder of Agni Yoga and was even advocated for the Nobel Peace prize. Specifically, we see that from a young age he was involved in archaeological expeditions and his art reflects his enthusiasm with the Rus and the religious traditions of Russia. As an art school manager he insisted on having painters, sculptures and all sorts of artisans to study under the same roof – Iron Maiden’s influences from literature and film would validate his methods years later, although he seems more of a Gorguts person himself. Famous painter of the Himalayas, upon his death his ashes were scattered upon the mountainsides that he so loved. All those elements constitute who he was as a person. And are codified in his art.

Symbolism is an intellectualized version of expressionism and has its roots in romanticism. It dismisses the materialism of the 19th century and reacts against naturalism and realism. But what does Roerich’s art symbolize?
“To be able to understand this, as odd as it may appear, is essential to understand Roerich’s art in all its elements: this is an art of snowy and rarefied heights, where sensibility and the air become dematerialized and convey at all times the sense of transparency and of alpine silence. In almost a constant fashion we see in his landscapes the emergence of myths and symbols: figures of ascetics in deep meditation; magic fires; shapes of idols; elemental apparitions; strange, unnatural inner reflections of light emerge in his paintings in the background behind seas of valleys and alps; alps everywhere, as far as the eye can see. This does not have the value of a fantastic overlapping with reality. In a setting such as the Himalayas we may say that myth becomes part of reality. In a way myth continues reality, it interiorizes and completes with a purpose that transpires immediately out of those forms, symbols, and lights about which one can no longer say whether they are inside or outside of oneself; or whether they are lights of things or illuminations of the spirit, or both at the same time.”
~ Julius Evola, Meditations on the Peaks

Idols (Pagan Rus). See the overarching citadel, the vast world.

Participation is the essence of art and especially of symbolic art (symbolism): if man lacks control over his many dimensions symbols can talk to us on an unconscious level, and make us see the unseen by using our imaginative faculties more in our own lives; else how could painting compete with photography on the grounds of realism? This can be an invitation to participate in art, by imitating it, the difference of being a Hessian versus being a consumer of metal. As olden philosophers did, we can interpret events in art or in nature as a conversation between the cosmos and oneself. Notice the patterns, the small subliminal messages. See the spirals, the perfection of mathematical absolutism in proportion of all. If life is a tragedy, should we strive to follow this spiral, should we try to be better actors?

‘The Evolution of the New Era rests on the cornerstone of Knowledge and Beauty’ ~ Nicholas Roerich
Clarity enmeshed in mistiness; the blurry and the defined.

‘Cease speaking of enemies when an achievement can kindle a great light. Solitude will transmit the message better than the murmurs of crowds’ ~ Nicholas Roerich

In the age of pseudo-philosophers, wormtongues and warmongers demanding rights without acknowledging duties, freedom without sacrifice, power through ‘Jesus’, ‘magic’, ‘paganism’ and pseudo-satanic role play, peace is essential to clear thought, to find a way. The Death of God, which the ruins of Christian celebrations might symbolically remind us of, signifies our duty to take up arms and strive to fill the void. And the paintings of Roerich, Christian, pagan or esoteric, open a window to a past to derive inspiration from, to mend the above by humbling and annihilating our narcissism.

Peace complements the war within and the war without, in the same way that the pillar of mercy faces the pillar of severity in the works of Roerich. Peace is the reward of war, and war the reward for peace. And Roerich’s art has the power to instill humility, so that we can carry our crosses, expand the holy war against oneself, do battle against our weakness, against the weakness of others or to use an expression from a purer and perennial tradition, underlying the ones before, to ‘climb our mountain’.

“The “end of a world” never is and never can be anything but the end of an illusion.” 
― René Guénon

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7 thoughts on “Brief Analysis: Nicholas Roerich”

  1. Flying Kites says:

    Amazing stuff. Hard to believe there was “development” of European art at all when viewing these paintings that seem to come straight out of 1250 AD.

  2. Flying Kites says:

    http://www.deathmetal.org/wp-content/uploads/buik.png

    This image has a wealth of meditational merit. Enwrap your interior imagining in the image of this, with 13 stars or flames.

    1. IΩannis Metaxas says:

      What I like about art that has enough debt to be meditated upon, is that at some point in life, once aligned with the corresponding experience, the enigma of the symbolism appears solved! Then knowledge becomes possession and art a reference point. like unearthing a treasure. Beautiful. Also, medieval art rules and I would like to know more artists that work in that vein.

      1. Flying Kites says:

        That image taught me more about what was going on post 500 AD than anything else.

        1. WeNeedBetterArt says:

          I don’t anyone here could write a more pretentious sentence if they tried. Congrats.

          1. Flying Kites says:

            Not THAT image specifically, but the Mother hovering above the moon and waters and having the thirteen rays mantled about her. I hadn’t seen Roreich’s interpretation until this article and I hadn’t known Rorerich until this article.

            There is a use besides motivating peasants to act in accord of this Judeo-Christian stuff, and that’s imprinting a memory centuries late. Enjoy the pretense of searching for a soul, because just about everything else has been a retarded decline.

  3. WeNeedBetterArt says:

    Roerich is not entirely bad, but when compared to other contemporary artists he is incredibly lame. So why pick him out of all possible options? For some Vikings, mountains and primitivism? Pfft.

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