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    Sale 7684

    Russian Pictures Including Post-War and Contemporary Art Part II

    26 November 2008, London, King Street

  • Lot 376

    Nikolai Roerich (1874-1947)

    XIII Day, Ak-Tagh

    Price Realised  


    Nikolai Roerich (1874-1947)
    XIII Day, Ak-Tagh
    inscribed in Russian 'XIII Day Ak-Tagh Lenin's Mountain' (lower left); with number 'RM 649' (on the reverse)
    tempera on paper laid down on board
    9 x 11½ in. (22.8 x 29.2 cm.)
    Painted in 1925-1926

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    When Nikolai Roerich stopped at Ak-Tagh on 2 October 1925, the thirteenth day of his expedition from Leh, Ladakh, to Khotan in Chinese Turkestan, he wrote in his travel diary:

    In the frosty morning sun, the snowy Mount Lenin was clearly outlined before our camp. [We] gave this name to the highest peak of the Patos range on our way from [Little] Tibet. The mountain hovers above the crossroads to Karghalik-Yarkend and to Karakash-Khotan...The mountain towers like a cone between the two wings of the white ridge.

    The reference to Lenin was a way to appease the regime in Moscow, where he went soon afterwards; Roerich omitted the name in the English version of his diary. In his list of paintings, he refers to the mountain by its local name, Ak-tag. This small yet impressive piece is a classic example of Roerich's ability to capture the grandeur of a vast mountain landscape using only a few lines. The direct, central composition establishes a distance between the viewer and the mountain range, creating an awe-inspiring effect that gives the otherwise small painting a sense of infinite size.

    We are grateful to Gvido Trepsa, Senior Researcher at the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, for his assistance in cataloguing the present work.

    Special Notice

    VAT rate of 5% is payable on hammer price and at 15% on the buyer's premium


    The collection of Louis and Nettie Horch, New York.
    By descent to the present owner.

    Pre-Lot Text



    Roerich Museum Catalogue, 8th ed., New York, The Roerich Museum, 1930, no. 649.