The Art of Nicholas Roerich

Well this is just plain unexpected; a plethora of really cool art by someone hitherto unknown to me. It’s all vaguely unsettling, which is obviously why H.P. Lovecraft was so enamored of the paintings.

Nikolai Roerich (1874-1947) was a Russian painter who traveled through Tibet in the 1920’s painting the Himalayan mountains. His works can be seen at the Roerich Museum in New York City where Lovecraft saw them. They would have a profound effect on Lovecraft’s At the Mountains of Madness.

What is equally interesting is the Roerich Pact, a 1935 treaty for the care and preservation of cultural artifacts around the world. Much as the Geneva Convention lays out the rules for war, the Roerich Pact lays the groundwork for the preservation of cultural artifacts. This is just fascinating stuff for me, especially the association with Lovecraft. That’s just plain weird.

Tibet. Himalayas. 1933 - Tempera on canvas. 74 x 117 cm. Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York