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The World of Roerich - Alan Senior

The Messenger

This small treatise discusses the paintings and spiritual work of Russian painter Nicholas Roerich.


Of keen interest is the painting entitled "The Messenger".  From the 16th to the 18th of January, 1925 Nicholas and Helena Roerich visited Adyar to present the Society with this painting, and they were hosted by James Cousins, a leading administrator and lecturer there.

The work depicts a woman (perhaps H.P. Blavatsky herself whom Roerich greatly admired) in a Buddhist monastery opening the door to admit 'The Messenger', probably the Master who, through her, brought the Teachings to dispel spiritual darkness.

In the words of Helena Roerich: “It is said by the Great Teacher (M.), ‘Only Blavatsky knew’, and it is our duty to rehabilitate the memory of this great woman martyr.” The face of the woman is concealed as she bows reverently before the visitor. The expression of the Messenger is veiled too – a deliberately ambiguous scene for the viewer to interpret in his or her own way. Roerich dedicated the painting to Blavatsky's memory.

In a short speech before the unveiling, amidst a group of Adyar residents, he said: "In this Home of Light, let me present this picture, dedicated to Helena Petrovna Blavatsky, as the nucleus of a future Blavatsky Museum of Art, whose motto shall be: Beauty is the garment of Truth


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