Roerich was a very versatile person - an artist, writer, traveler, archaeologist, he lived a long life and painted about 7000 paintings, many of which are famous and kept in museums.
“Zvenigorod” is a picture closely connected with his life and his belief that Altai is the best place for a person, high and clean, and that it is there that one can live a real life and build a utopian city. Roerich had this dream for many years - he wrote about her in letters, he told his family about her. The promised land, a city where there will be no destitute and offended - the city of Zvenigorod, which will become a haven for people of art, science and religion.
The painting shows a white temple with one dome crowned with a cross. In the windows of the bell, you can see the bells, on the wall - the icon of the Mother of God, and the saints come out of the doors of the temple.
Their heads are surrounded by the radiance of nimbuses, all of them in long-length robes and with pacified faces. The first two carry the city under the golden domes - Zvenigorod, already conceived by them, which remains only to be lowered to the ground so that people can build it. This is both a designation, and permission, and a command.
And behind the temple mountains rise - low, drowning in a blue haze. This is Altai and at the same time heaven, because where is it even closer to heaven than in the mountains? On the right you can see the city, and the heavens are spread over the heavenly temple with shining azure, in the purest color.
In this picture Roerich’s dream came true, his hope that one day Zvenigorod will exist. She looks like an icon, in her imitation of the canons of Orthodox icon painting, in her flowers shining with an unearthly light, in her halo over the heads of the saints and their faces.
It is a dream and at the same time a prayer. Looking at it with all my heart I want this city to still exist, and that temples shining with golden domes stand above it. Because the desire cannot be divided such force.
Painting Nesterov Sergius of Radonezh