Lot Sold. Hammer Price with Buyer's Premium: 3,220 GBP
Nicolas Konstantinovich Roerich, 1874-1947
a pair of landscapes with lakes
smaller signed with monogram l.r.
tempera on board; in original frames (2)
larger: 33 by 38 cm., 13 by 15 in.
smaller: 31 by 40 cm., 12 1/4 by 15 3/4 in.
£ 35,000 - 45,000
RUB 2,900,000 - 3,700,000
THE RUSSIAN SALE
8 Jun 2009, 14:00 BST
LONDON, NEW BOND STREET
Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich (Russian, 1874-1947)
Isle on the horizon
signed with monogram (lower right)
tempera on board
30.3 x 40.6cm (11 15/16 x 16in).
Roerich Museum, New York, 1923-1935
Nettie & Louis Horch, USA
Brandeis University, Waltham, MA, USA
Deaccessioned from the above institution by auction in October 1998
Purchased from the above by the present owners, private collection
New York, Roerich Museum, (permanent col.), 1923-1935
Roerich Museum Catalogue, New York: Roerich Museum, 1930. no 321
The offered lot is one of the sketches for Roerich's Ocean Series, the fifteen paintings he completed during July and August of 1922 (two sketchbooks for this series are available online at www.roerich.org). He was staying on Monhegan Island, Maine, which has inspired many American painters as well. Roerich had just spent an active and prolific year designing for Rimsky Korsakov's Snegourotchka, and Wagner's Tristan and Isolde. After this summer, he organised institutions such as the Roerich Museum, Cor Ardens (the International Society of Artists), and Corona Mundi (International Art Center), so his stay in Monhegan gave him five weeks of rest before another rush of social activity. One of his friends, who spent a week with him on the island, remembers their walks along the rocky coastline while Roerich was making pencil sketches. Roerich remarked that when painters depict nature, their sky, rocks, and tide are often mere photographic representations that only a blind person would not be able to see, while the goal of a painter is to capture nature's mood and put it on the canvas. The present lot reflects a calmness of mind that was able to convey the mood of Monhegan through self-assured simplicity.
We are grateful to Gvido Trepša of the Roerich Museum, New York for his assistance in cataloguing this lot.