Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerickh [Roerich] (1874-1947)
Sketch for the painting 'The Pearl of Wisdom'
GBP 4,000 - GBP 5,000
pastel on paper
9 1/8 x 11 7/8in. (23.2 x 32cm.)
While in Sikkim, Roerich painted a series of works entitled "His Country" (1924), which was inspired as much by the physical grandeur of the Himalayas as by the spiritual mysteries harboured within them. Indeed, for the artist these towering peaks represented the very summit of beauty and spirituality.
The spirit of prehistoric man already enjoyed the greatness of the mountains. In the painting "The Pearl of Wisdom", a chela[student] sits on a mountain top in the lower right foreground. Behind him stretches a sea of clouds, above which rise the magnificent snow-covered peaks. The chela examines the Book of Wisdom in search of the one pearl without which the present day would be lived to no purpose. The book - a symbol of wisdom - signifies that this daily seeking is destined to go on forever.