Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich
Most Joyous Place
tempera on paper
45 х 46 cm
Smolensk State Museum-Reserve
From 1911 to 1914, Nikolai Roerich, the famous Russian painter, worked to complete the monumental frescoes of the Temple of the Holy Spirit, located on the estate of Princess Tenisheva, at Talachkino, near Smolensk. The painter became so carried away by the spirituality of the scene that he painted a few canvasses as he worked on his sketches, whose subject was linked to the Russian Christian apocrypha. Most Joyous Place is one such work. The themes of concrete landscape have been re-thought and presented once again as images from Russian, or more specifically Slavic, cosmogony. In this work, the miniature Byzantine motifs harmonize organically with the many Eastern and Scandinavian motifs, which is what creates the atmosphere unique to Roerich’s painting.