Artistic Russian Family: Roerich Family


Figure 1.--This is the Roerich family on a sketching expedition into the couuntry. Nicholas also organized archeological digs. Svetoslav is the boy on the left even though he looks older. His older brother at the right wears a sailor suit. Svetoslav may have been wearing a middy blouse under his cost.

Nicholas Roerich became one of Imperial Russia’s most famous artists. In fact he had wide ranging interests. He has been described as a Russian archeologist, painter, philosopher, and theosophist. Much of his art work was about Russian History. He was born in Saint Petersburg to the family of prosperous notary public. Nicholas lived around the world, spending many years in India until his death in the Punjab. His father had him study law, but allowed him to also study art. His interests were very wide ranging, but were strongly oriented toward art. He left Russia with his family after the Revolution, but undewent a series pf anti- and pro-Soviet conversions. Given his conflicting orientation it is good he did not return to Russia during the stalinist era. Her married Helena Shaposhnikov. Helena was related to the Russian composer Mussorgsky. She met her husband in 1899. There were two sons. George the eldest was born in 1902. He became as Yuri Roerich a noted Tibetologist. Svetoslav their youngest son was born in St Petersburg (1904). Nicholas and Helena Roerich founded the Agni Yoga Society.

Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)

Nicholas Roerich became one of Imperial Russia’s most famous artists. In fact he had wide ranging interests. He has been described as a Russian archeologist, painter, philosopher, and theosophist. Much of his art work was about Russian History. He was born in Saint Petersburg to the family of prosperous notary public. Nicholas lived around the world, spending many years in India until his death in the Punjab. His father had him study law, but allowed him to also study art. His interests were very wide ranging, but were strongly oriented toward art. He left Russia with his family after the Revolution, but undewent a series pf anti- and pro-Soviet conversions. Given his conflicting orientation it is good he did not return to Russia during the stalinist era.

Helena Shaposhnikov

Svetoslav's mother was Helena Shaposhnikov. Helena was related to the Russian composer Mussorgsky. She met her husband in 1899. Their marriage was one if mutual respect, nit a tradition Russian marriage that the husband dominted. Nicholas was Russian Orthodox. Helena was very spiritual and much less traditional than her husband. She was deeply into theosophy and had a great influence on her husband. They explored other religious beliefs. Thus is why the family became interested in India. They jointly founded a number of educational and cultural institutions. One of the best known is the Nicholas and Helena Roerich founded the Agni Yoga Society.

Children

Nicholas and Helena had two sons born close together--George (902) and Svetoslav (1904). They grew up in a very loving family. The boys came to be very close. Nicholas seems to have been a very careing and attentive father. His two sons are shown in lots of photographs with him. The relationship seems to have been a very loving one. The family always seemed to be together. There is a photograph that shows this effectively. It is a family outing. As they walk along something catches their eye. Father and the boys have their sketch books open and are sketching away while the photograph is taken. He took a great interest in their development and ducation.

Revolution (1917)

The Roerich family left St. Persburg (1916). He contracted a serious illness. Conditions in the city were becoming difficult as aesult of World War I. Fodd was difficult to obrain. The family moved to the countryside, a pleasant home aon the norther shore of Lake Ladoga. As a result, when the Revolution came, the Roerich family was away from the disorders in St. Persburg. As in the resulting disorder and developing Civil War, Finland declared its independence. Thus they although thouroghly Russian found themselves on the territory of the new state of Finland. From their home along the shore of Lake Ladoga, Svetoslav began systemic drawing lessons under his father's tutelage. He was of course a great master, but also a gifted teacher. Developments in Russia convinced his father that it was not safe to return ti St. Petersburg. And as Russians, they did not want to stay in Russia. One benefit of being in Filand was that it was easy to leave. That might have been very difficult if they had been in St. Petersburg. They thus left Finland for England (1919). Their original intention was to proceed on to India. Their father was invited to America to accompany a tour of his paintings.





HBC






Navigate the HBC Art pages:
[Return to the Main Russian national art page]
[Return to the Main individual artist M-R page]
[Chronology] [Country] [Individual Artists] [Styles]



Navigate related Boys' Historical Clothing Web Site pages:
[REturn to the Main Russian family page]
[Return to the Main Russian page]
[Long hair] [Dresses] [Collar bows] [Kilt suits] [Kilts]
[Fauntleroy suits] [Sailor suits] [Velvet suits] [Peter Pan collars]



Navigate the Historical Boys Clothing Web Site:
[Introduction] [Activities] [Biographies] [Chronology] [Clothing styles] [Countries]
[Bibliographies] [Contributions] [FAQs] [Glossaries] [Images] [Links] [Registration] [Tools]
[Boys' Clothing Home]



Created: 12:14 AM 3/17/2009
Last updated: 12:14 AM 3/17/2009