A world-renowned artist, visionary, and humanitarian, Nicholas Roerich is most widely known for his breathtaking paintings of Himalayan landscapes and the peoples of Central Asia. In this book, he chronicles his expeditions through the Himalayas, providing one of the earliest and richest written accounts of the area. Roerich recounts his journeys to more than fifty monasteries and his meetings with lamas eager to share their spiritual insights and heritage with the Western world. His expeditions crossed thirty-five mountain passes, where he sketched, painted, and studied the ancient monuments, religious life, and great migrations of the region. Included are dramatic episodes of snow blindness, mountain floods, and mysterious electrical phenomena, as well as intimate depictions of daily life in the rigorous yet beautiful Himalayan environment. Roerich’s notes on indigenous paintings, tankas, and frescoes praise the superior workmanship of Himalayan artists and the remarkable endurance of their traditional talent and knowledge through centuries of political upheaval and cultural displacement. Throughout, his writing is infused with the same vigor and brilliance that have made his paintings famous and beloved by thousands.
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