Svetoslav Roerich's Paintings
To see more paintings of Svetoslav Roerich, welcome to the IRMT Roerich Art Gallery!
The youngest son’s work was closely linked to the creative activity of his father. But while in Nicholas Roerich’s paintings man was placed in the depth of the composition, Svetoslav Roerich placed man in the foreground. He became a brilliant and accomplished portrait painter who managed to deeply penetrate into the inner world of man already in the earliest period of his career as an artist.
The International Roerich Memorial Trust collection has several portraits out of the 12 paintings by Svetoslav Roerich. A portrait of Nicholas Roerich painted in oil on wood is among them. Nicholas Roerich is depicted in a loose black robe with a small black cap on his head. In his eyes, in all his appearance there is a deep wisdom, peace and humanity. Svetoslav spoke about his father, “I have met so many people in this world but I have not met such a versatile person like Nicholas Konstantinovich. Many, many achievements of many people were combined in him. But on top of all, to me he was a wonderful Man. His soulful humanity is the most striking quality for me and it remains the leading memory.”
A small-sized portrait of Jawaharlal Nehru radiates life energy, vitality, confidence and purposefulness. Svetoslav Roerich commended the greatest Indian national leader. “He is an <...> absolutely amazing man – with a deep wonderful heart; wide, exclusive open-mindedness: he already thinks in universal categories, for him the whole world is a common continent. And being a highly cultured man, he is a great leader of India,” said the painter.
The portrait of the Indian girl Jaya is amazing in its purity and charm. The Indian Professor Lokesh Chandra spoke about female images created by Svetoslav Roerich, “Women in his portraits can be compared with amphorae filled with sun light; their souls are a sanctuary for the heart yearning for tenderness and longing for bliss.”
Visitors especially like the painting “Gaddi Girl.” Gaddi shepherds have been for centuries engaged in breeding sheep and goats travelling in the upper reaches of the Himalayas with their herds. The girl is depicted sitting with two lambs against the background of picturesque mountains and her whole figure, thoughtful expression of her face, and her eyes are shining with non-childish wisdom and seriousness. The lambs trustingly cling onto her; and the quiet beauty of the surrounding nature emphasizes the beauty and nobility of the girl’s inner world.
Being born in Russia, being a Russian by birth and blood, Svetoslav Roerich fell in love with India with his whole heart and considered it his second Motherland. “In 1928,” he said, “I was returning to India after being away for a long time. And when I got down from the ship in Bombay I was feeling like I returned to something very well-known and close, like I returned back to the land which I knew so well.” After a thorough study of Indian history, having understood and felt the peculiarities of Indian culture and the character of its inhabitants, Svetoslav Roerich captured the beauty of India in his canvases. The Gallery exhibits such pictures by the painter as “Beling Ballah. Lahaul,” “Study of trees,” “Naggar.” The view of Naggar was captured from the mountain slope, from the Roerich House.
The great masters Nicholas and Svetoslav Roerich can truly be called the messengers of Beauty. By striving for Beauty and revealing it the artists bring it to the people and serve mankind with their very life and creative work.