Nicholas Roerich

Alternative Name(s): Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh, Nikolai Roerich
Date of Birth: October 9, 1874
Place of Birth: St. Petersburg, Russia
Date of Death: December 13, 1947
Focus: Painter, scenic designer
Art movement: Symbolism
Nationality: Russian

Famous Nicholas Roerich Artwork

Nicholas Roerich Biography

Nicholas Roerich was born as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh in St. Petersburg, Russia, in 1874. The son of upper-middle class Russians, he often met writers, artists, scientists and other influential people who were within his parents’ social circle. At the age of nine, Roerich began to show an interest in archeology, which became his lifelong passion and the source of his visual art.

He was educated at the St. Petersburg Academy of fine arts and became well-known for his work behind the scenes, creating sets for Serge Pavlovich Diaghilev’s Ballets Russes. In addition to working as a scenic designer, he was an accomplished landscape painter and archeologist. In all of his fine art, prehistorical and archeological influences could be seen.

Roerich also became a popular mystic. After marrying Helena Roerich and emigrating to New York City, he founded the Agni Yoga Society and became known in the United States as a spiritual guru. Finally, in 1923, Nicholas Roerich and his wife, Helena, traveled to India to tour cultural and historical sites and to meet with artists, scientists and scholars. The Roerichs conducted an expedition into the Himalayan mountains, and in 1928 established their family home in the Himalayan valley of Kullu, where Roerich died in 1947.

Altogether, Roerich completed more than 7000 works of art during his lifetime. Today, his artwork can be viewed in museums worldwide, including the Nicholas Roerich museum in New York City.