– JAHRGÄNGE 2014 –

Nicolas Roerich
And We Are Not Afraid (1922)

A conversation of two monks, an inoffensive bear who listens attentively to solemn speeches of the serene old men. This reminds us of a well-known episode in the life of Saint Sergius of Radonezh who tamed a bear during his lonely ascetic life in the forest. This is the idea of universal greatness, of the primordial unity of all living beings. Delicate shades of pink fill the evening sky. And even dark shadows on the horizon will not interrupt the peaceful conversation of the monks. The calm and spiritual connection with the Higher Forces can protect a pure man from all evil – that is what the philosopher and the mystic Roerich tells us through this painting of the Sancta series.

Pavel Belikov, a great connoisseur of the life and work of Roerich and his biographer, wrote:

«In these paintings Roerich recreated with masterly hand the nature of his country that he cherished, and ancient Russian architecture. They serve as background for the scenes of life of Russian ascetic monks. Their simple labor and the purity of their souls are rendered so sincere that even now, decades after their creation, they never cease to stir emotions in the spectator.»

Artist, philosopher, traveler and writer, Roerich left an important spiritual heritage. At the beginning of the twentieth century he gave a clear definition of the concept of culture and launched the idea of ​​an international treaty to protect it. This treaty, known as the Roerich Pact, served as the basis for UNESCO’s World Cultural and Natural Heritage Convention. Roerich’s concept of culture brings together the greatest achievements of human genius in religious experience, science, art and education. He is the Russian philosopher who formulated the main difference between culture and civilization: while culture touches on the spiritual world of the individual, expressed in his creative actions, civilization remains the external organization of human life in its material and civil aspects. If we assimilate civilization to culture, we risk underestimating the human factor in the development of humanity, Roerich emphasized. «Wealth alone is not the bearer of culture. Yet the widening and sharpening of mental activity, the sense of beauty, give the refinement and nobility of mind that are peculiar to the cultivated man. And it is this man who is capable of building the future for his country», Roerich wrote in 1928.

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Vintage 2014