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The Visionary Art of Nicholas Roerich

A Messenger of Beauty

Foreword by Gary Lachman
Published by Park Street Press
Distributed by Simon & Schuster

About The Book

A fully illustrated biography of mystic, artist, and explorer Nicholas Roerich.

Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947) was a Russian artist, writer, archaeologist, explorer, mystic, theosophist, and peacemaker who left a rich legacy of nearly 7,000 visionary paintings and 30 books on the mystic East. Twice nominated for the Nobel Peace Prize due to the Roerich Peace Pact—a remarkable treaty signed by President Roosevelt that sought to preserve cultural monuments during times of war—Roerich had a profound love for folk traditions of Russia, India, and Tibet, especially legends of lost cities and paradise. Together with his wife and two sons, from the 1890s into the 1950s, Roerich embarked on a number of spiritual quests through India, the Gobi Desert, the Altai and Kunlun Mountains, Mongolia, and Tibet, crisscrossing the Himalayan Mountains many times before settling in Kullu, India in the shadows of the great mountain range. Through his explorations throughout the world and the immersive art he created during those travels, he was seeking the grains of spiritual truth behind the legends of paradise lost, including during his pilgrimages in search of Shambala.

Revealing the mystical world of Nicholas Roerich in stunning full color, Jacqueline Decter invites us to witness Roerich’s far-reaching vision and dedication to beauty across the full scope of his inspiring life and artistic career. This new hardcover edition features Decter’s translations of many Russian texts into English as well as 88 color plates showcasing the variety of Roerich’s artistic talent, from breathtaking Himalayan landscapes and spiritual themes to set and costume designs, most notably for Stravinsky’s The Rite of Spring. A celebration of Roerich as both visionary artist and visionary explorer, this fully illustrated biography illuminates a man whose life and work significantly influenced the development of modern art and culture.

About The Author

Jacqueline Decter, Ph.D., is a scholar of Russian literature with a doctorate in Slavic languages from the University of Michigan. A former editor in chief at Doubleday Entertainment, she lives in New York City.

Product Details

  • Publisher: Park Street Press (October 12, 2023)
  • Length: 224 pages
  • ISBN13: 9781644117972

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Raves and Reviews

“Roerich’s vision is a pantheistic hymn to a union of man and nature.”

– Anna Kisselgoff, The New York Times

“Roerich’s mountains are not those of madness but of a kind of super-sanity and clarity. They convey the transcendental air of the rooftop of the world—thin, bracing, animating—and the sharpness of vision of an artist in his element. Readers unfamiliar with Roerich’s work should be prepared for a trek through the Himalayas of the mind. Those who know it may agree that if Dostoyevsky was right, and beauty will save the world, Roerich has certainly made a substantial contribution to that effort.”

– From the Foreword by Gary Lachman, author of The Return of Holy Russia

“Nicholas Roerich’s wide diversity of talents would have made him a unique individual in any era. Trained not only as an artist but also as a lawyer, he wrote extensively on legal matters, the arts, ethics, and their links to a more general law of the universe. He was convinced that the evolution of culture depended on a synthesis of knowledge from all fields of human endeavor. His belief in the fundamental unity of all cultures and civilizations led him to a profound study of Eastern culture and philosophy.”

– From the Preface by Edgar Lansbury, president of the Nicholas Roerich Museum

“The original force of Roerich’s work consists in a masterly and marked symmetry and a definite rhythm, like the melody of an epic song.”

– Nina Selivanova, author of The World of Roerich

“Roerich learned things ignored by other men; perceived relations between seemingly isolated phenomena and unconsciously felt the presence of an unknown treasure.”

– Garabed Paelian, author of Nicholas Roerich

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