The city is being built by Nicholas Roerich

The city is being built by Nicholas Roerich

In golden brown saturated colors, he painted the painting “Build a City” – an anthem to work and creative creation. Fortifications, walls and towers were erected on a hill surrounded by a river. Work was boiling. Groups of people in white linen shirts were united by the rhythm of friendly work. The work is distinguished by strong drawing and hot coloring, it clearly shows a vigorous and life-affirming beginning.

On the eve of the exhibition of artists of the association “World of Art” in 1902 Roerich compositionally rebuilt the picture. Art critic Sergei Dyagilev, who found him

behind this work, persuaded not to make a single brushstroke anymore. The canvas was left without a thorough finish, like a large sketch. But thanks to this, the viewer had the impression of authenticity, as if the author was writing from life, as if walls and towers were growing in front of his eyes, and he hastily applied what he saw on the canvas.

The metropolitan press met the “City of building” unfriendly, even Vladimir Stasov for the first time publicly criticized the picture. But the praise of Vasily Surikov almost to tears touched the artist, and at the insistence of Valentin Serov, the work was purchased for the Tretyakov Gallery.

Here is what the artist wrote about this picture: “… The picture” Build the city. “In it I wanted to express a desire for creation, when in the height of the addition of new stronghold towers and walls piled up. Today, when we have experienced so much destruction, every construction is particularly valuable. ” “It was so waited, so it was foreseen, and so it was seen.” The city is being built! “And what a wonderful, powerful!” “Where they build, they do not destroy it.”

Each structure is a multiplication of good. “When construction goes on – everything goes on.” “Why are all builders in white clothes? Roerich doesn’t have anything accidental,” said Natalia Spirina, “it means people with pure thoughts, not building for themselves, not for self-interest… but building for the common good. “

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