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Roerich has a unique, “Heroic” series of paintings dedicated to the Second World War. Two canvases from this series are in the Novosibirsk gallery. One of them is called “Victory”.
The painting was painted in 1942. The war was in full swing, the most difficult days of the Leningrad blockade were yet to come. But Moscow managed to defend. Part of this victory is dedicated to the painting of N. K. Roerich.
In the center of the picture is the hero who killed the dragon. A fairly classic story, known in many countries and options. Roerich gave this plot a new meaning.
Bogatyr is a typical Old Russian warrior in armor corresponding to the era. The dragon (probably the Serpent Gorynych, but with one head) is a dark green monster, reminiscent of the military uniform of the Reich in color. As a background, the artist used the highest peak of Siberia - Belukha.
Dawn. The sun is already pouring on one side of Belukha, and will soon move higher. The significance of the situation is emphasized by the dawn, sky, which occupies about a third of the picture. A small platform on one of the mountains.
The battle of Moscow is one of the first battles involving divisions that arrived from Siberia. And the warrior himself is a Siberian, with eastern features, in medieval armor.
For Roerich, a hero is, first of all, strength and power. Like the dragon - after all, the artist has lived in the East for so many years. The man who killed the dragon himself barely keeps his feet. There is no glee, no pathos - just fatigue and a sense of hard work done, joy and anxiety. Joy - that all the same he won. Anxiety - that another head can grow or another dragon fly.
In 1975, the artist’s youngest son donated the painting to the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In the gift it was especially noted that in this picture Roerich tried to express faith in Victory and a great future for everyone.
N Roerich the Snow Maiden