“St. Sergius of Radonezh”, Rech – overview of the painting

“St. Sergius of Radonezh”, Rech – overview of the painting
"St. Sergius of Radonezh", Rech - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Nikolay Konstantinovich Rerich
  • Museum: Tretyakov Gallery
  • Year: 1932

Overview of the painting :

Saint Sergius of Radonezh – Nikolay Konstantinovich Rerich. Canvas, tempera. 153.3 x 107.2 cm.

   Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerich is an extremely extraordinary person. He is known as a philosopher, publicist, mystician, historian, traveler and, of course, as a scientist. Such versatility and ambiguous views on the world order could not but affect its works.

   Nikolai Rerich and his wife loved to travel the world in search of “places of power.”. At the beginning of the 20th century, the Rerich family began a large-scale trip to Russian lands. A little later, they made an expedition to Central Asia, where they were influenced by a variety of oriental spiritual practices. Thus began a special period in the work of the master.

   The painting “St. Sergius of Radonezh” was written in 1932. The canvas is unique in the stylistic aspect. It cannot be attributed to a specific genre. Medieval Rublevsk motifs, oriental mysticism and modernity slip here.

   A characteristic feature of the artist’s creations is temperate technology and an experimental approach to colorization. This is also visible in the “Sergie”.

   At first glance, the traditional figure of the saint is made in absolutely non-canonical color scheme. The attention of the viewer is focused on blue and pink shades. Nikolai Konstantinovich believed that you can convey the mood in the image only with a bold combination of colors. A master who was passionate about syncretic spiritual teachings also easily combined different artistic styles.

   In the image, Rev. Sergius of Radonezhsky patronizes the Orthodox Church. Russian people, and in particular Rerich himself, considered the holy defender of their native land, which, according to legend, he repeatedly defended. Rurich himself over time stated that St. Sergius protected the picture, which was transferred to the Russian Museum in Prague. The museum was significantly damaged due to an attack by Nazi troops, but the Rerich canvas itself miraculously survived.