The road to Kailash by Nicholas Roerich

The road to Kailash by Nicholas Roerich

Nicholas Roerich’s painting “The Path to Kailash” is included in the “Holy Mountains” series. This work in the technique of tempera painting was written in 1933. Kailash is one of the peaks of the mountain range of the same name. The height of this mountain peak reaches over six thousand meters. Kailash has a special structure. The mountain is characterized by a tetrahedral pyramidal shape. The sophisticated image of the multi-faceted peak is complemented by the space of large snow. “Snow cap” is a dense white tone.

Roerich’s painting “The Path to Kailash”

draws before us an image of a distant mountain peak, filled with light, where time seems to be frozen, and space is perceived as the moment of eternal existence. The meaning of the paintings is concluded in the title of the work. “The Path to Kailash” personifies the eternal movement towards the light, to the truth, the constant search for truth. The bright snow-white image of Kailas resembles the poetic image of “helmsman stars”, which emit light and direct the wanderers in their long search for the right path.

Mount Kailash rises above the ground, while the base of the mountains itself appears indistinguishable. It is as if buried in a soft dense fog, like a green haze. This mysterious effect of smoke gives a sense of a ghostly, alienated from all the usual, worldly being. Veins of the mountains, deep shadows, rocky faces filled with a similar green glow.

The picture is almost monochrome. It uses mainly two primary colors, which create a pattern due to the alignment of light and shadow contrasts. The snow-white Kailash is played up tonally, thanks to an unusual color painting. The sky, the air, the mists – everything here seems to breathe this “green wave.” The image of the mountains turned out to be lively, truly real.

In the image there is nothing superfluous, for the picture is characteristic etude and a certain understatement. The image turned out elusive and lyrical, and at the same time strict and clear. The use of tempera paints by the artist creates a shaky, matte air, in which the bright rays of the sun sink and go out. The sky is precisely illuminated from the inside, despite the fact that it is written out in a single tone.

Nicholas Roerich saw and understood this world in a special way. The artist in all noticed and felt not only the objective reality, but also the world of spirit. Perhaps that is why all Roerich’s artistic images are filled with light, rare spirituality and a special idea of holiness.

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