*14. ROERICH, NICHOLAS (1874-1947)
Bogdo Ula. Storm, numbered "N27" and dated 1927 on the reverse.
Tempera on canvas, laid on board, 24 by 36 cm.
Provenance: Roerich Museum, New York, USA, 1927-1935.
Collection of Luis and Nettie Horch, New York, USA, until 1957.
The Dr Carlos Giro collection, USA.
Acquired from the above.
Private collection, New Jersey, USA.
Literature: Roerich Museum Catalogue, New York, Roerich Museum, 1930, p. 30.
Bogdo Ula is a mountain that dominates the southern boundary of the valley in which lies Ulaanbaatar, the capital of Mongolia. Mongols consider Bogdo Ula sacred because Genghis Khan was presumably born at its foot.
Nicholas Roerich painted the mountain about half a dozen times while staying in Ulaanbaatar from September 1926 to April 1927. His expedition party came here to prepare for the journey across Tibet. Among the one hundred works painted in laanbaatar, there are numerous mountain landscapes of the Karakoram range that the expedition crossed in 1925. Its peaks rise well over 20,000 feet, while Bogdo Ula - at about 7,400 ft - stands in no comparison. Its relatively small size is not apparent in Roerich's interpretation, however. It is simple, yet monumental. The brushstrokes on the left side of the painting suggest an approaching storm that will soon obscure our view of the mountain. At this moment, however, the sanctity of Gengis Khan's birthplace is preserved in pristine white and blue.
Before leaving for Tibet, Roerich sent his paintings from Ulaanbaatar to New York, where they were placed in the Roerich Museum's permanent collection.
We are thankful to Gvido Trepљa, Senior researcher at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, for providing catalogue information