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Экспедиционная фотография в архиве Музея Николая Рериха (г. Нью-Йорк)
Important Russian Art
24 November 2014
Estimate (Set Currency)
£40,000 – £60,000
($63,800 - $95,700)
Nicolas Roerich (1874-1947)
signed with artist's monogram, inscribed with title, dated and numbered 'N 84. 1928' (on the reverse)
tempera on canvas laid down on board
12 x 16½ in. (30.5 x 42 cm.)
Roerich Museum 1928-1935.
Louis and Nettie Horch, New York.
Acquired from the above by Dr and Mrs Carlos Giro, New York.
A gift from the above to the present owner in the 1980s.
PROPERTY FROM A PRIVATE COLLECTION, NEW YORK
Roerich Museum Catalogue, Eight Edition, New York, 1930, listed p. 35, no. 907.
Roerich Museum, permanent exhibition, 1929-1935.
We are grateful to Gvido Trepša, Senior Researcher at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York for providing this catalogue note and for his assistance in cataloguing this work.
The present work was executed in Darjeeling, India, where Nicholas Roerich and his expedition party arrived at the end of May, 1928. He had just completed the last leg of his Central Asian expedition, which took him from Urga, then the capital of Mongolia, across the Gobi and the great Tibetan upland and over the Himalayas. The journey took a whole year to accomplish. Towards the end of the expedition, he followed the left bank of the Tsangpo, the name of Brahmaputra in Tibet, for a couple of days before finally crossing it on April 30th, 1928.
The artist’s son, George Roerich, describes this moment:
'After four miles we reached the ferry, which belonged to the Nying-ma Monastery, situated on the river bank. The ferry was manned by eight lamas from the monastery. It consisted of a large, square, wooden boat, with a wooden horse head on the prow. Such boats are commonly called in Tibet shing-ta or 'wooden horses.' The whole traffic across the river had been closed for others, and the boat was placed at our disposal. … There were several ferries on the Tsang-po but many of them were in bad condition and we had to use this one. The boat took eight horses and a considerable amount of baggage piled up on the prow. The current was swift and the boatmen had a hard time steering. The boat is steered with the help of two big oars fixed to the fore part, one from each side. Each oar is worked by two men. One pulls the oar by the handle, the other helps him by pulling a rope attached to the middle of the oar. The camels were transported without unloading them. Two camels were taken at a time and brought safely across the river. They were the first camels to cross the Tsang-po at this place.' (G. Roerich, Trails to Inmost Asia, New Haven, 1931, p. 462).
In Darjeeling, where he spent half a year resting after the expedition, Roerich retraced his epic crossing of Mongolia and Tibet in nearly one hundred paintings. This body of work constitutes a distinct and easily recognisable period in his artistic career, marked by landscapes devoid of the grand narratives and spiritual context that dominate his other work. He depicts the Tsangpo, the legendary river named after the son of Lord Brahma, as a stream of water flanked by flat earth and mountains. Even the boat appears to be part of the natural scenery rather than a human construct. Here, Roerich is a nameless nomad rather than a lofty story-teller, recording what he sees without embellishment or commentary. After the hardships of the expedition Roerich is able to step back and convey the complex beauty of what he saw. His approach is detached, almost Zen-like, and yet he paints his own experiences and memories into every brushstroke.