Nicholas Roerich became famous not only as an artist, but primarily as a philosopher and public figure. He is one of the authors of the esoteric teaching. As a creator, Roerich Sr. embodied in his paintings the history of Russian culture, traditions and spirituality of Russia. Nikolay was seriously interested in archaeological excavations, participated in expeditions and excavations. Therefore, the life of ancient, pre-Petrine Rus was given to him especially well.
The painting by Ilya Muromets is part of the artistic suite The Athletic Frieze. Once this work adorned the dining room in the house of Bazhenov. Later, individual panels were removed and moved to the Russian Museum. In addition to Ilya Muromets, fragments with images of Mikula Selyaninovich, Sadko, Bayan and the Nightingale the Robber were preserved.
The main character of Russian epics and fairy tales is depicted in the painting of Roerich as a strong, strong man in shiny armor. A homespun shirt with embroidered ornaments peeps out from under the steel chain mail. The rider's outfit is depicted with meticulous archaeological accuracy. Riding a horse, Ilya aims out of a bow at someone invisible to the viewer's eye. The quiver of Muromets is full of arrows - while the hero is at the post, no one dares to encroach on his native expanses. The horse of the hero fully corresponds to the owner - the same strong, squat, in a rich harness. The white color of the animal indicates bright and pure thoughts of the rider.
Ilya Muromets in the painting of Roerich personifies the defender of the homeland, the patriot of his people. To show the connection of the hero with the Russian land, the artist depicted him among the paintings of ancient Russian nature. Fields and forests, rivers and lakes behind the brave warrior are well protected. In the distance you can see snow-white churches with golden domes - a symbol of the purity of faith. Ilya Muromets is one of the most significant paintings in the artist’s work, his original visiting card.
Painting Aivazovsky Seascape