Roerich Museum Moscow
Astonishment is what we are reading in the eyes of visitors of the Roerich Museum in Moscow. Behind the doors of the first biggest public museum in Russia, there is no place for any earthly and temporal things; the time itself disappears, and we plunge into the infinitude of cosmic truths.
The vivid palette mesmerizes! We witness the creative enlightenment of artists. The large collection of paintings of Nicholas Roerich (pronounced in Russian like Nikolai Rerikh) and his youngest son Svetoslav Nikolayevich turns this place into a unique and exciting Moscow art gallery. We offer you to explore this museum accompanied by our prefessional Moscow tour guide that will help you understand and feel the special atmosphere of the place.
Passing from hall to hall, we seem to follow the stream of time. The canvases depicting lost civilizations are succeeded with the images of pagan Rus. From ancient Indian monasteries, we travel to the Christian Russia, and it seems as if we can hear the chime of bells in honour of the Slavonic Land. Scenes of heaven battles give place to the mysterious underground life. The Himalayan series confirm the Roerich’s title as a “Maestro of mountains”. As if the sagacious painter flips through the pages of the “Book of Life”.
The International Centre of the Roerichs (the official name of Roerich Art Gallery Moscow) is a unique spiritual and cultural centre in Russia, collaborating with the UN and the UNESCO. It hosts International conferences, dedicated to important problems both in culture and in science. Many distinguished scholars in history, culture, philosophy participate in them. This Moscow art museum organizes classical music concerts, festivals and meeting with famous artists and poets, and contemporary cosmist artists exhibit their works. This centre is an active living organism, open for international co-operation.
The Roerichs’ heritage was brought back by a special flight from India to Moscow in 1990; it is really a landmark, multifaceted and multidimensional event. Among exhibits are Buddhist thangkas, icons on a piece of cloth, rare bronze collections, rare books from the private library,documents and family photos. Behind the glass of cases, you can see the Elena Ivanovna Roerich’s manuscripts that paved the basis for the doctrine of the Living Ethic, philosophy of the Cosmic reality, this “storage room of the immense energy”. Many things are unusual here. For example, a mysterious jewelry box, decorated with symbols of the ancient times, presented to Elena Ivanovna by her Teacher, or an Iranian manuscript of the 16th century, mountain crystals, a letter in Sanskrit, and finally, a three thousand years old ring that belonged to Nefertiti, an Egyptian queen, the wife of famous Pharaoh Akhenaten. See the evidence of the parcel with an amazing Stone, an envoy from the other worlds, sent to the Roerichs.
The family of Nikolas Konstantinovich, Elena Roerich and their sons – painter Svetoslav Nikolaevich and orientalist Yuri Nikolaevich, who were speaking more than 30 languages, – is an outstanding one.
These are artists, travellers, philosophers and public figures. From them, we get traces of Indian wisdom, mysterious Shamballa, a faraway covert land, encircled by forbidding Himalaya. They left us some knowledge about ancient paths between Asia, Europe, and America. Roerich painted saints and ascetics, lamas and anchorites, prominent political figures and ordinary Indians. In one of the most beautiful halls of the Roerichs’ museum, you can see a triptych called “Long Live the King” by Nikolas Roerich and just above it there are pictures of Indian gurus, Great Teachers of humanity.
- Visit to the Roerich Museum in Moscow may be added to our standard Moscow Art Tour, should you wish it.
Enthusiastic visitors of the Roerich Museum Moscow examine things used in difficult expeditions in the Central Asia and Manchuria. Be sure that our Moscow tour guide will help you to do it as well! Here are medical instruments and Tibetan chess, bulletproof vest and bags for water transportation. Also, there you can see some gifts from lamas, archaeological findings, ritual scarves, masks of gods and heroes, and many other exciting objects kept behind the glass.
It might be interesting to learn that the way of the Central-Asian expedition passed through Indian, Chinese, Russian, Mongolian and Tibetan territories. It took five long years to cover twenty-five thousand kilometers! There were numerous insurmountable mountainous passes on their way sometimes higher than 6 thousand meters above the sea level. Not only rarefied air and snow blindness complicated their journey, but also the road narrowing to a little pass on the edge of an abyss, burning deserts threatened them with quicksand, and a calm river at times transformed into an impetuous torrent, trying to devour their tents in just a few minutes. Armed gangs constantly stood on guard at the expedition camp.
In this museum you will learn, who and why impeded the advance of the expedition, forcing them to spend almost half a year in summer tents on the high plateau where the temperature was falling to minus 60 degrees Celsius. They were lacking food, people and animals were dying. Here you will have an opportunity to read the doctor’s notes, who described a desperate plight of the caravan. Despite all this, the mission was completed, valuable materials were collected, and many canvases were created. As a result, the first Himalayan Research Institute appeared in the magnificent Kullu valley.
Nicholas and Elena Roerich were never destined to come back to their motherland. Nikolas Konstantinovich died during the preparations for the departure. Elena never obtained her visa to return back home. Nevertheless, their joint work, bequeathed to their beloved motherland, found its way home.
One of the last halls in the museum tells us the story of a very interesting document, calling for the preservation of cultural heritage – the Roerich Pact. It became the first international legal act, protecting cultural legacy of the humanity not only during wars but as well in a time of peace. You will discover an ancient sign of the trinity, the Banner of peace, fluttering now in front of the UN headquarter in New York. You will see the banner that was at the Northern and Southern Poles, on board of the orbital station “Mir” and American spaceship “Space Shuttle”, and even in the open space, having made hundreds of turns around the Earth. The Banner of peace waves in many cities, in the mountains of the Himalayas, Caucasus, Cordilleras, Andes and Tian Shan, Alps, and Altai. There are even peaks named after this amazing family. A little Roerich planet dashes through the outer space.
Under the glass, you can see a space traveller, a real fragment of meteorite, which links us with undiscovered worlds. And, a thought that knows no boundaries – flies.
Everything here is extraordinary, even its location. It preserves its secrets, escaping the bustle of the big city, in the middle of the Lopukhin countryside. The Roerich Moscow art museum is situated on the territory of the White City, which history counts 300 hundred years and is connected to many famous peoples, especially to Catherine the Second and Peter the Great.
In the courtyard, the beautiful porch of white stone of the 17th century neighbors a stupa, a place of worship. Have a look at the ancient symbols on it; the horse of happiness carries the news of the arrival of prosperity epoch.
After visiting this fantastic Moscow art gallery, take a rest in its cozy flowering park, sit on the bench among flagrant roses, and ruminate about a beautiful boundless place – the Roerich’s country.
This intriguing and exciting museum attracts visitors from different parts of the world who enjoy marvelous Nicholas Roerich paintings and breathtaking and mystical stories of the Roerich family told by a friendly and expert Moscow tour guide.
About the author
Diana Zalenskaya, a travel professional and destination expert for Moscow, Russia.