oil and tempera on canvas
Salon Strindberg, Nicholas Roerich Taidenäyttely No71, Helsinki, 1919, No. 73 (as "Aarteet")
N.Jarintzov, Nicholas K. Roerich. London: The Studio, 1920, p. 8 (ill.)The Goupil Gallery, Nicolas Roerich. Spells of Russia, 1920. No. 95 The Public Art Gallery, Worthing, Nicolas Roerich. Spells of Russia, 1920. No. 76
C. Brinton, The Nicholas Roerich Exhibition, New York, 1921. No. 9, (ill. plate 12)
F. Grant et al, Roerich, Himalaya, A Monograph, New York: Brentano Publ., 1926. p. 197
Roerich Museum Catalogue, New York: Roerich Museum, 1930. No. 9
The Treasure displays Roerich's fascination with the legends of ancient wanderers who "remembered the call of other remote mountains, and again strove onward, counting nor the days, nor years, nor centuries of their wandering." The treasures they left behind were not simply tangible relics but symbols whose very essence rested in their mysterious and unreachable quality. The secrets of these treasures, which were cultural and spiritual rather than material, had to be kept hidden in order to be preserved, especially in desperate times. Roerich himself was forced to flee to Finland in 1917 at the outbreak of the revolution, and the tragedy and dissolution of his surroundings inspired a nostalgic appreciation of the mystical past. As one critic described it, "Nicholas Roerich is himself an idealist to whom reality is but a suggestion of that which lies beyond." This particular painting, one that reflects typical Karelian scenery, is a more polished culmination of the hundreds of rough sketches he produced in the following two years. The landscape's bold outlines and relatively simple composition reflect a primitiveness that is conceptual and carefully constructed rather than spontaneous, as if every inch of paint is as sacred as the ancient traditions he admired.
We are grateful to Gvido Trepša, Senior Researcher, Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York for providing this note.
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