Lamayuru Monastery

Roerich, N.
Lamayuru Monastery
signed with artist's monogram (lower right); further numbered, dated and signed 'N94.1932 / N. Roerich' (on the backing board)
pencil and watercolor on paper
5 5/8 x 8 ¾ in. (14.3 x 22.2 cm.)
Executed in 1932
Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York, 1932-35
The Collection of Louis and Nettie Horch, New York
Thence by descent to the present owner

Brought to you by

Nishad Avari
Nishad Avari Specialist, Head of Department

Lot Essay

In 1923 Nicholas Roerich and his family departed from New York and embarked on their first voyage to India and various regions in Central and East Asia. Roerich had written about this journey in his book The Heart of Asia and created a series of exquisite drawings and paintings reflecting his observations, impressions and visions, most notably majestic representations of the Himalayas and various historically and spiritually significant sites.

Lamayuru Monastery, which depicts the eponymous location, is a study for one of Nicholas Roerich’s most famous works, Star of the Hero, which he first executed on canvas in 1932, and then a later version in 1936. This study relates to the earlier version of the painting, which is in the collection of the Bharat Kala Bhavan in India. In this study, Roerich delicately and meticulously depicts the monastery which is known to be one of the largest and oldest in Ladakh. Set against mountainous surroundings and bathed in an otherworldly light, Roerich stresses the mystical significance of this location, which serves as the foreground in Star of the Hero. This work was most likely sent by Roerich to New York in 1932 and has remained in the United States since. A rare and important study, this work is the basis for Nicholas Roerich’s iconic painting, revealing the methods he employed to create his celebrated masterpiece.

We are grateful to Gvido Trepša, Director of the Nicholas Roerich Museum, New York for his assistance with cataloging this work.

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