ROERICH FAMILY HALL
Reproductions of portraits of all members of Roerich family, painted by Svetoslav Roerich, are exhibited in the «Roerich family» hall, together with few paintings of Nicholas Roerich dedicated to the great spiritual Sages of Orthodox Christianity and Buddhism. The central image of the Slavic series — St. Sergius, ascetic who lived in the 14th century and founded Sviato-Troitsky Monastery (Lavra). Nicholas Roerich wrote in the article «The Soul of the People»: «Every record of this sacred name imperatively calls us to constant enlighted work, to creativeness in full self-denial». Helena Roerich wrote: «The significance of the entire work of St. Sergius was not in external dogmatism, but in his highly moral and ethical influence on his contemporaries. In establishing austere rules, in bringing discipline to the savage temper of those times, he helped to mold the character of the people, thus building up the might of the nation». The meaning of labour, creative work occupies the most important place in the worldview of Roerich family. In the painting «Sergius the Builder» St. Sergius is depicted as a tireless worker. «Sergius, the Builder of Communities forbade to his co-workers to take almsgiving. Food and things could only be exchanged for work», wrote Nicholas Roerich in his travel diary. Several paintings of Nicholas Roerich are dedicated to St. Nicholas, and copy of one of them, «Nicola» (1916) is exhibited here. The original is displayed in the Kyiv National Picture Gallery. Together with other paintings like «Panteleimon the
Healer» (1931), «Boris and Gleb» (1942), «Zvenigorod» (1933), «Religious Procession» (1920), «Light conquers darkness» (1933) they form the exposition of the Slavic cycle. The exposition of the Buddhist East is centered around the painting of Nicholas Roerich «The Treasure of the World: Chintamani».
The fiery mountains had come apart, and the white Horse comes to the world as a symbol of the Spiritual message, an arrival of the long-awaited Saviour. Chintamani (The Treasure of the World) shines with fiery Light of Spirituality on horse’s back. Helena Roerich wrote: «The sending of this gift has signified, from time immemorial, an approaching era of predestined unification and power in the country where it appears... The East especially is full of legends about this gift of Orion. Thus, the white horse, Erdeni Mori, of Tibet and Mongolia, who carries Chintamani (The Treasure of the World), is also connected with this occurrence». «Agni-Ioga» symbolizes the beginning of the Epoch of Fire. Proclamation of the Fiery Epoch goes through the Sacred Scriptures of all Great Teachings. This name was given to the books of the Living Ethics which prepare consciousness of mankind to the prescribed cosmic events. Nicholas Roerich and Helena Roerich witnessed in all their art, literary and philosophical heritage about the beginning of the New Era, and that is their images depicted in the paintings «The Hostess of the World» and «The Song about Shambhala».
Legends about Shambhala are reflected in a few paintings of Nicholas Roerich, such as «Message of Shambhala», «Letter of Shambhala», «Saga about Shambhala» and others. In his literary works, Roerichs asserted the reality behind these legends — the certain point on Earth which they visited. The group of the Great spiritual Teachers of mankind, the Great Souls, Mahatmas who direct evolution of Earth and humans is also associated with Shambhala. Nicholas Roerich wrote about Shambhala in his books «Shambhala the Resplendent», «Altai —Himalaya» and others. In particular, in the travel diary he noted: «Word about Great Shambhala, or mysterious Kalapa of Hindus sounds like a symbol of great future. In sagas about Shambhala, in legends, stories and songs, probably, the most significant message of the East is contained». In the «Roerich family» hall one can find art monographs on paintings of Nicholas Roerich and Svetoslav Roerich, and the literary works of all members of the Roerich family.
Helena Roerich is known under 5 pen-names: as Natalie Yarovskaya she authored the book «The Banner of St. Sergius of Radonezh» as Natalie Rokotoff — «Foundations of Buddhism»,
G. Sent-Iler — «Cryptograms of the East», Iskander Hanum — «Chalice of the East», and Sundri — «Letters from the Himalayas». Collected letters of Helena Roerich were published in 9 volumes by International Roerich Centre (Moscow). They are exhibited here, together with the lifetime editions of letters of Helena Roerich and Nicholas Roerich published in the USA, Latvia and France. Among the art monographs one can see the lifetime editions of books of A. Rostislavov (1916), S. Ernst (1916), A. Mantel (1912), A. Gidoni (1915); about Nicholas Roerich as well as magazines: «Apolon» (Apollo) (1911), «Mir Iskustva» (World of Art) (1904), «Iskustvo» (Art) (1905), «Staryie Gody» (Old Years) (1914), «Iskustvo i khudozhestvennaya promishlenost» (Art and the Art Industry) (1898), etc. Some books published by Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York, with the 3-volume collected writings of M. Meterlink, illustrated by Nicholas Roerich, together with catalogs of exhibitions, and original letters of Nicholas Roerich and his autographs are on display as well.