He studied at St. Petersburg Academy of arts (1893-97) A. I. Kuindzhi, then in Paris (1900-01). The Secretary of the artists encouragement Fund (1901) and the Director of the Drawing school (1906-18). The member of Association "World of art" (the Chairman-in 1910-19). From 1920 he lived mainly in USA and India. Made 2 big expedition (1924-28 and 1934-35) for Central and Eastern Asia, gathered valuable archeological and ethnographic materials. In the 1910s designed productions of the enterprise. Since the 1920s, the artist was engaged in extensive educational activities on the international protection of monuments of world culture; in 1954 on the basis of the so-called Roerich Pact in the Hague was signed the Final act of the International Convention on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict.
Russian painter, theatre artist, painter, archaeologist, Explorer, writer, public figure. Nicholas Roerich - the father of the orientalist YURY. Roerich (1902-1960), and artist S. Roerich (1904-1991). In translation with Scandinavian name Roerich means rich glory. According to family legend, its origin goes back to the time of the Vikings. One of the oldest representatives of the family of Roerichs in the XIII century, was headed by the knights Templars, among the ancestors of NICHOLAS Roerich were politicians and commanders.
Nicholas Roerich was born on 9 October (old style : 27 September 1874 in St. Petersburg, in the family of a notary public of the Circuit court of St. Petersburg (1873). Father Nicholas, Konstantin Roerich in 1860 married Maria Vasilievna Kalashnikova and settled with her in St. Petersburg - mansion on the Mykolayiv embankment (now University)where he opened his own law firm. In addition Nicholas, in the family had three children: younger brothers Boris and Vladimir, and older sister Lydia. Together with the family lived and grandfather on his father, Fedor Ivanovich (died at the age of 105 years), who had the collection of Masonic symbols. Summer and winter holidays the Roerichs conducted in the country estate Izvara acquired by Konstantin Roerich in 1872 count the Seeds Vorontsov (the name "Izvara" was given to the estate Vorontsov after returning from a trip to India; in Sanskrit means "God" or "Divine Spirit"). In 1883 Nicholas Roerich passed the entrance exams in one of the best and expensive private schools St. Petersburg school of Carl von May. The exams were passed with such ease that the background May exclaimed: "it Will be a Professor!". Most of the subjects were taught in German. Among the various Hobbies Nicholas were drawing, geography, history, archaeology, collecting minerals, horse riding, hunting. The first drawing teacher was a friend of father Nikolai - artist Mikhail Mikeshin.
In 1893 Nicholas Roerich-enrolled in St. Petersburg Academy of arts, where he studied with A.I. Kuindzhi (graduated in 1897). At the same time, on the condition made by the father, son wanted a more practical education, Nikolai entered the law faculty of the State University (graduated in 1898); listened to the course of historical-philological faculty. While teaching at the University of Nicholas Roerich began to earn illustrations in magazines "Star" and "world illustration" and icon painting, having received orders from several churches. In 1897 by NICHOLAS Roerich among the other disciples Kuindzhi left the Academy in protest against the dismissal of a beloved teacher and continues to work on started a series of paintings depicting the life of ancient Slavs"the Beginning of Russia. The Slavs"). The ancient Chronicles and books more thoroughly studied since 1895, when he met with V.V. Stasov, was in charge of art Department at the Public library. Even in the years of study at the University, Roerich became a member of the Russian Archaeological Society.
After finishing his studies at the Academy and the University became assistant chief editor own log Stasov "Art and art industry", articles published in the magazine, signed by the pseudonym R. Outcast. With the support Stasov was assistant Director of the Museum of the Society for the encouragement of artists. The first trip of Nicholas Roerich was done on the boat in the summer of 1899 from St. Petersburg to Novgorod the great waterway, according to which more than a thousand years ago by the ships of Vikings sailed the Vikings. In 1900 died Konstantin Roerich, Maria Roerich sold to Izvara, and on the obtained money Nicholas was able to fulfill a long awaited dream in September he went to study in Paris, on the road drove to Berlin, Dresden and Munich. In the workshop historical painter Fernand Cormon Nicholas Roerich studied until mid 1901, returning in the summer in Russia. on October 28, 1901 in the Church of the Imperial Academy of Arts, in B. hours in the afternoon, Nicholas Roerich and Helena Shaposhnikova, met in the summer of 1899, became husband and wife. Elena Ivanovna, niece Princess of the manuscript Putyatina, was five years younger than Nicholas Roerich. For the rest of your life, she will be his "friendess and inspirer", and he will call her "Lada", the old Russian name, which for him was "harmony, inspiration and strength." To ensure the family, in the same 1901 Roerich proposed his candidacy for the post of Secretary of the Society for the encouragement of artists and was accepted to the post, despite the presence of other, more senior and experienced candidates. In the summer of 1903 Roerich with his wife traveled to Russia, visited twenty-seven cities. The purpose of the trip was to study the ancient architecture. The results of the trip were presented at the Exhibition of architectural sketches Roerich, opened in the Society for the encouragement of artists in January 1904. Nicholas II, who visited the exhibition, wished that the whole series has acquired the Museum of Alexander III (nowadays Russian Museum), but in the day of his visit to Russia declared war on Japan, and the work remained unfinished. In the same year, seventy-studies and several other paintings of Nicholas Roerich was sent to America as part of the Russian exposition at the exhibition-sale in Sant Lluis (Russia paintings returned only after seventy years).
From 1906 - the Director of the Drawing school at this society (until 1918). From 1909 active member of the Petersburg Academy of arts. In 1910-1919 - Chairman of Association "World of art". To the revolution of 1917 NICHOLAS Roerich was treated sympathetically; was part of the Commission on the arts, created in March 1917 under the chairmanship of A. M. Gorky. In may 1917, in connection with severe lung disease, Nicholas Roerich was forced to go on the Karelian isthmus.
Since the spring of 1918 lived abroad: in the early 20-ies in the United States; from 1923 with breaks, and from 1936 permanently in India. In 1918, NICHOLAS Roerich traveled throughout Finland, Norway, Denmark, England with an exhibition of his works, and in 1920 going to America, where his works are especially great success. In the 20-ies and 30-ies made two expeditions in Central and Eastern Asia (1924-1928 together with his wife E.I. Roerich and his son YU.N. Roerich and in 1934-1935). In 1926 visited Moscow was in Altai. In 1929, together with his son, he founded the Institute of Himalayan studies"Urusvati") in Nagar. With the 20-ies of Nikolay Roerich led educational activities to attract the world community to the cause of protection of monuments of culture (based on proposed so-called Roerich Pact in 1954 in the Hague was signed the Final act of the International Convention on the protection of cultural property in the event of armed conflict, ratified by many countries, including the USSR). In 1942-1944 was the honorary President of the American-Russian cultural Association. Died N.K. Roerich December 13, 1947 in the town Nagar (the valley of Kullu, Punjab, India).