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 Svetoslav Roerich


Born:   November 5, 1904
Deceased:   January 30, 1993

Russian philosopher, artist, culture expert

      

Svetoslav Nikolaevich Roerich started his artistic way as a portraitist and reached outstanding proficiency in this genre. One of the distinctive features of his creativity was the aspiration to feel deeply the character of the person, whose portrait he was painting. Svetoslav Nikolaevich noted: “A successful portrait is more than just a similarity”. 

 
Besides portrait, he resorted to landscape, epic, genre and symbolical painting and in everything proves to be a virtuoso master and an inspired experimenter.
 
A lot of things in the artist’s works testify to the influence of his father Nicholas Roerich on him. As Svetoslav Roerich noted: “sources of my art are inseparably connected with Nicholas Konstantinovich”. At the same time, while continuing the tradition of his father in painting, Svyatoslav made his own way. Each of the artists, both father and son, had his own style and technique of painting.
 
Svetoslav Nikolaevich Roerich, the son of Nicholas Roerich and Helena Roerich, was born (on October 23) on November 5, 1904 in St. Petersburg.  

Early in childhood Svetoslav started drawing and molding, and helped his father working on theatrical sketches. 
 
Already in early childhood the boy showed interest to natural sciences which harmoniously intertwined with inherent artistic abilities. At the age of twelve years Svetoslav already helped his father, artist Nicholas Roerich to prepare canvases and paints. The father often took him to archaeological trips around the Old Russian towns.
 
From 1916 to 1918 he together with the family lived in Finland, where at the age of 13 he painted his first portrait of his father. From 1919 Svetoslav Roerich it studied architecture in the Royal Academy of Arts in London. Continuing his painting activities, he participated jointly with his father in creation of scenery for staging of operas Snow Maiden, Sadko, and Prince Igor’.
 
Svetoslav continued his education in the USA, first at architectural department of the Colombian University, then in Harvard.  He created many paintings and was engaged in book illustrations and graphic art. 
 

In 1923 he headed the International Art Center Corona Mundi, and subsequently became the vice-president of Nicholas Roerich Museum in New York.  Along with carrying out numerous duties as the director he went on painting, and critics noted fast blossoming of his artistic talent. 
 
In 1931, having finished his studies, Svetoslav moved from the USA to join his family in Kulu Valley in India. The artist took an active part in public and cultural life in India, but continued to spend much time on painting. India became the second homeland for Svetoslav Roerich.
 
In July, 1941, after the attack of Germany to the Soviet Union, Svetoslav Nikolaevich cabled the ambassador of the USSR in London I.M.Maysky about his decision to join the ranks of the Red Army, but was refused. Nevertheless, during World War II Svetoslav Nikolaevich transferred means from sales of his paintings and exhibitions in favor of the Red Cross of the USSR.
 
Svetoslav Nikolaevich was a spiritual successor of his great father and a successor of his mission. 
 
Svetoslav Roerich died on January 30, 1993 in Bangalore, India.


Tags: Svetoslav Roerich India    




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