Roerich has a unique, “Bogatyrskaya” series of paintings dedicated to the Second World War. Two paintings from this series are in the Novosibirsk gallery. One of them is called “Victory”.
The painting was written in 1942. The war was in full swing, the most difficult days of the Leningrad blockade were still ahead. But Moscow was able to defend. Part of this victory is the picture of NK Roerich.
In the center of the picture is a hero who killed a dragon. A classic story is enough, known in many countries and variants. Roerich gave this story a new meaning.
Bogatyr – a typical ancient Russian warrior in armor, corresponding to the era. The dragon (probably Snake Gorynych, but with one head) is a dark green monster, color reminiscent of the military uniform of the Reich. As a background, the artist used the highest peak of Siberia – Belukha.
Dawn. The sun is already flooding one side of Belukha, and will soon move higher. The significance of the situation is emphasized by the dawning azure sky, occupying about a third of the picture. A small playground on one of the mountains.
The battle of Moscow was one of the first battles involving divisions that had come from Siberia. And the warrior himself is a Siberian, with oriental features, in medieval armor.
For Roerich, the hero is, first of all, strength and power. Like the dragon – after all, the artist has lived in the East for so many years. The man who killed the dragon can hardly stand on his own feet. There is neither glee nor pathos-only fatigue and a feeling of hard work, joy and anxiety. Joy – that still won. Anxiety is that another head or another dragon may fly up.
In 1975, the younger son of the artist donated the painting to the Siberian Branch of the Russian Academy of Sciences. In the donation it was specially noted that in this picture Roerich tried to express faith in the Victory and a great future for all.