1 December 2022
Nicholas Roerich

Nicholas Roerich

CultURe – Cultivation of Light


Nicholas Roerich, a well-known Russian artist, is the subject of our fourth exhibition, which we are pleased to present to you in collaboration with our sister organization, Buddha Pada. Roerich’s exhibition is the first of many art related events that will take place at Buddha Pada in Kalimpong, India, which is Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche’s center for the study and practice of all Buddhist traditions as well as other Indian philosophical systems. 

Among the 7000 paintings Roerich painted, more than 45 will be on show until the 3rd of December 2022. 


Exhibition at Buddha Pada, Kalimpong, 1-3 December 2022

Roerich was born in 1874 in St Petersburg, Russia and died in 1947 in Kullu, India. One of the greatest painters of all time, Nicholas Roerich dedicated most of his life to a new culture that valued beauty, creativity, and knowledge as some of the primary drivers of human evolution.

During the 1930’s, before the signature of the international Treaty, known as the “Roerich Pact in Defence of Culture,” he gave innumerable speeches in India and many other countries, to many private and public organizations, to spread a new idea of culture, connected with the true eternal values that this word contains (beauty, creativity and knowledge).


Exhibition at Buddha Pada, Kalimpong, 1-3 December 2022


The exhibition’s curator, Fiorenza Bortolotti, says:

“The lines Roerich wrote in 1931 served as the initial source of inspiration for our theme:  “First of all the world Culture signifies Cult-UR, the Cult of Light.”

The mission of Buddha Pada was the second source of inspiration.  “In this dark age, illumination is indispensable. Especially self-illumination … To this day, India remains a source of the world’s most profound wisdom, light and illumination.” 

Bortolotti commented further, 

“In the Himalayan region ... people have for centuries been the faithful custodians of this wisdom tradition… the basic call of this precious heritage in the minds and hearts of Himalayan peoples has never really diminished. Indeed, it is so gratifying to see more and more of our youth searching for those roots and wellsprings of their being.

And so, it is at this moment in history, that Buddha Pada aspires to provide the facilities and space to explore and celebrate this ancient heritage that is more relevant to our modern times than ever before… being also a space where we can connect with the wider world through music, art, poetry, drama and more.

Well, when I discovered Buddha Pada last June and had the luck to meet briefly Dzongsar Khyentse Rinpoche, I ventured to ask him to permit us to display the Roerich Exhibition, to reopen the field (in Kalimpong) for a new deep Light, wished by Nicholas Roerich in the Himalayas, the place where he came first in 1923.”

– Fiorenza Bortolotti – Curator of the Exhibition


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