Roerich is a Russian artist, publicist, extremely versatile person who gave the world a huge number of paintings. He was distinguished by indefatigable energy, the desire to try everything that life could offer him, as well as intolerance to evil in all its manifestations.
“Armageddon” is one of his paintings, deeply symbolic and reflecting the artist’s attitude to what was happening in the world.
It was written the year the Spanish Civil War broke out, and it all seems to be in flames. The great city on the mountain burns, the flame licks its houses and streets, everything is on fire, covered in scarlet and gold, and below, at the foot of the mountain, people leave — men and women, children and old people. Like a terrible prediction, they were laid on a yellow background of flame in two-dimensional silhouettes - like the traces that remained on the walls of Hiroshima and Nagasaki after atomic explosions, and their heads were lowered to the ground. Only a few raise their heads to the city devoured by fire and the sky engulfed in fire - their faces are illuminated by reflections and are full of fright, visible even in such an incorrect light.
Armageddon on earth is a battle between the forces of good and the forces of evil, and Roerich wrote in his letters, pouring out on paper that which did not fit into the picture and burned it from the inside, that the greatest evil was done by the soft and languid, when they did not interfere and were silent . That the desire to compromise everywhere is stupid and criminal, because good and evil cannot come to a compromise.
“This is what will happen to the world,” as if “Armageddon” says, lilac and scarlet, fiery and hot. “This is what will happen to the world if it does not change.”
But the world is not going to change at all, despite all the warnings.
Rembrandt Self Portrait