“The Righteous Procopius for Unknown Swimmers prays,” Nikolai Rerich – overview of the painting

“The Righteous Procopius for Unknown Swimmers prays,” Nikolai Rerich – overview of the painting
“The Righteous Procopius for Unknown Swimmers prays,” Nikolai Rerich - overview of the painting - 1

  • Posted by Nikolay Konstantinovich Rerich
  • Museum: Russian Museum
  • Year: 1914

Overview of the painting :

Prokopius the Righteous for unknown swimmers prays – Nikolay Konstantinovich Rerich. 1914. 70 x 105 cm

   Nikolai Rerich – was an amazing phenomenon in Russian history. An artist, philosopher, thinker, writer, ethnographer, orientalist, archaeologist, he was able to do so many important things, starting from the highest human values. Each of his paintings is a whole story, expressed in color, texture and symbolic clues. To convey all the important moments of his works, from a certain point on, Rerich began to accompany his paintings with literary essays.

   The presented work depicts one of the acts of Prokopia of Ustyuzha, namely prayer for travelers who sail on river vessels. Moreover, the author emphasizes that prayer occurs for those who swim in his unknowns. Blessed Prokopius, a miracle worker from the enormous breadth of his soul and heart, asks God for the safety and integrity of strangers. On the territory of the Great Ustyug, traditions were preserved, according to which Prokopiy repeatedly saved people, anticipating or taking away the misfortune from the city. Nikolai Rerich devoted two paintings to the Holy.

   The figure of a person is inscribed in the composition very harmoniously – the hero of the canvas is like a part of nature, its natural component. But the most striking thing in this work is her mood. She literally breathes peace and tranquility: from the praying gesture of the Holy to the unhurried course of the river and the movement of ships.

   Amazingly, the master uses a color palette. Colors delight with brightness, freshness, purity. The river at Rurich seems to be made of gold, the mountains surprise blue, and the sky is completely represented by a separate universe with living clouds similar to wonderful ships. The rerich operates with large generalized color masses, which are inscribed in simple and concise forms.

   The composition of the picture is the quintessence of Russian beauty. Here is the full-water bending ribbon of the river, endless green forests, meadows with fresh grass, picturesque hills and vast expanses. But over all this, a man with a rich soul rises, who is unaware of selfishness and pettiness, and vice versa, this hero is rooting for others, appreciates and loves his land, is closely connected with the outside world, with the universe.

   Rerich is not in vain called one of the amazing seers – he foresaw the difficult historical period of his homeland: the First World War, revolution, domestic war. In captivity of his prophetic thoughts, the artist turns specifically to the Russian antiquity, werenas, heroes, finding harmony and beauty there.