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The famous Nicholas Roerich from a young age showed great promise as a future artist. At the final exam in 1897, after completing the training in the basics of artistic mastery at Kuindzhi, Roerich lit his guiding star in the limitless world of painting - he presented the first painting “The Messenger” to the court of society.
The final work of him received many positive reviews, and Roerich was officially awarded the title of artist. Self-confidence in the new talent was added by the interest in the “Messenger” of the writer Tolstoy and, as a result, her acquisition in the Tretyakov gallery.
Roerich initially stood at a crossroads, equally passionate about art and archeology, ethnography, but could not stop at only one branch. This is read in the painting “The Messenger”. On the canvas, the young creator writes history, a very ancient history, so long that even reliable data about those times were not preserved. Only echoes of the 9th century, scraps, small grains are collected in the "Tale of Bygone Years", which the future great artist studied with zeal.
According to the data that reached that century, there was no agreement on Slavic lands: either raids by the Varangians, or internal skirmishes. And now, upon learning of the impending raid, a messenger in a hurry to the other side of the river hurries with an alarming message: "rebel clan to clan". The canvas details architecture, beliefs and the whole atmosphere of that era.
An old Russian hillfort stands on a hill; the palisade around it is hung with skulls of horses - an ancient tradition for protection against misfortunes. The picture is nocturnal, silent, the two people in the boat are just as quiet and thoughtful: the Christian prophecy about wars comes true for their lifetime, it remains only to obediently follow the intended path. A bright crescent moon peeps from behind a hillock and illuminates the area.
From the first attempts, the artist managed to apply the painter's skills and convey to us his love for the secrets of history.
Vasnetsov Self Portrait