Glowing tributes were paid to renowned Russian painter, philosopher, scientist, writer, traveller and public figure, Nicholas Roerich (1874—1947), at a solemn function organised at the Russian Centre of Science and Culture on October 17, 2011.
To make the occasion momentous the Centre accepted, as its valued treasure for its library, a set of books on the legendary, multi-dimensional personality, Nicholas Roerich, received from the International Centre of the Roerichs, Moscow.
Ms. Mane Mkrtchyan, an Armenian and Hindi M. A. student of Delhi University, supported by her mother, a noted historian Prof. Susanna Grigoryan, made a presentation on the colourful life and creative work of Nicholas Roerich for the students of the Institute of Russian Language and Delhi University.
The presentation mainly featured the Russian painter charmed by the riot of colours and variety of life in India, particularly the mighty Himalayas, a fascinating source of inspiration for all his life, beautifully reflecting these images in his magnificent pictures. The prolific artist created thousands of paintings which now decorate famous museums across the world. Nicholas Roerich was the author and initiator of the Treaty on the Protection of Artistic and Scientific Institutions and Historical Monuments and the Banner of Peace, signed on April 15, 1935, An important highlight of the presentation was the noteworthy quotes from Rabindranath Tagore, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi on the significant contributions of Nicholas Roerich.
Nicholas Roerich and family arrived in India in the course of his famous expedition to Central Asia on December 2, 1923. He founded the Institute of Himalayas Studies ”Urusvati” at Naggar in the Kullu Valley, Himachal Pradesh, where his elder son George Roerich, a well-known Orientalist, became the Director. He directed ethnological and linguistic researches and reconnaissance of archaeological monuments.
The presentation made important references to Nicholas Roerich’s family members to whom India was the second home, particularly Helena Roerich (1879—1955) his wife, an outstanding writer and thinker. George Roerich (1902—1960), his elder son, was a prominent 20th century Tibetologist, and Svetoslav Roeich (1904—1993), his second son, was a prominent painter, who made the portraits of Dr. S. Radhakrishnan, Jawaharlal Nehru and Indira Gandhi. Winner of Padma Bhushan title of Government of India, he had married Devika Rani, a noted cine artist from the Tagore family.