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Old 08-09-2008   #1
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Lovecraft and Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)

“Better than the surrealists . . . is good old Nick Roerich, whose joint at Riverside Drive and 103rd Street is one of my shrines in the pest zone. There is something in his handling of perspective and atmosphere which to me suggests other dimensions and alien orders of being—or at least, the gateways leading to such. Those fantastic carven stones in lonely upland deserts—those ominous, almost sentient, lines of jagged pinnacles—and above all, those curious cubical edifices clinging to precipitous slopes and edging upward to forbidden needle-like peaks!” (Letter from H. P. Lovecraft to James F. Morton, March 1937)




“The last lap of the voyage was vivid and fancy-stirring. Great barren peaks of mystery looming up constantly against the west as the low northern sun of noon or the still lower horizon-grazing southern sun of midnight poured its hazy reddish rays over the white snow, bluish ice and water lanes, and black bits of exposed granite slope. Through the desolate summits swept raging intermittent gusts of the terrible antarctic wind; whose cadences sometimes held vague suggestions of a wild and half-sentient musical piping, with notes extending over a wide range, and which for some subconscious mnemonic reason seemed to me disquieting and even dimly terrible. Something about the scene reminded me of the strange and disturbing Asian paintings of Nicholas Roerich, and of the still stranger and more disturbing descriptions of the evilly fabled plateau of Leng which occur in the dreaded Necronomicon of the mad Arab Abdul Alhazred. I was rather sorry, later on, that I had ever looked into that monstrous book at the college library.” (From chapter I of At the Mountains of Madness [1931])




“The party reported that the titan barrier range extended endlessly to right and left alike, without any diminution in height or essential structure. On some of the peaks, though, the regular cube and rampart formations were bolder and plainer; having doubly fantastic similitudes to Roerich-painted Asian hill ruins. The distribution of cryptical cave-mouths on the black snow-denuded summits seemed roughly even as far as the range could be traced.” (From chapter IV of At the Mountains of Madness [1931])




For more on the life and work of Nicholas Roerich, see www.roerich.org.
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Old 08-10-2008   #2
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Re: Lovecraft and Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)

Thank you! I don't think I'd previously seen any of his paintings reproduced.

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Old 08-12-2008   #3
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Re: Lovecraft and Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)

Never heard of him before, thanks for the heads up.

Anyway, people die...
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Old 08-12-2008   #4
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Re: Lovecraft and Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)

Roerich is really wonderful and haunting. I, like many others, found out about him because of Lovecraft's "At the Mountains of Madness." It's easy to see why his weird art appealed so much to the Old Gent.
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Old 01-06-2009   #5
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Re: Lovecraft and Nicholas Roerich (1874-1947)

Quote Originally Posted by Odalisque View Post
Thank you! I don't think I'd previously seen any of his paintings reproduced.
One of his paintings is reproduced as cover art on S. T. Joshi's The Annotated H. P. Lovecraft (Dell Trade Paperback, 1997), in which appear'd for ye first time Joshi's magnificent annotated text to "At the Mountains of Madness."

"We work in the dark -- we do what we can -- we give what we have. Our doubt is our passion and our passion is our task. The rest is the madness of art."
--Henry James (1843-1916)
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