To the philosophical cycle of Svyatoslav Roerich should be attributed and those created almost simultaneously with the triptych. paintings like: “As in the old days,” “When the yogis converge,” “Jacob with the Angel.”
“As in the old days” (1938) – a widely known and widely used gospel story: the flight of Joseph and Mary with the Child to Egypt. From the persecution of King Herod, the future of mankind is saved. The artist does not accidentally stop at this story, which has long been in art. Indeed, as in the old days, something of the most important need to be protected and saved, so that mankind does not bury its hopes under the wreckage of the barbarous onslaught of modern Herods. Ominous blazing of the sky, the horizon is deserted,
“When Yogis Converge” (1939) – humanity is shocked by the first news of a new explosion of bloody insanity. Animal cruelty violates all the rights of people in countries that claim to be the stronghold of civilization. Panic, uncertainty about the future cover the population of these countries boasting of their culture. And at this time on the Himalayan slopes, near the high mountain lake, a small group of people gather, whose life proceeds according to the eternal laws of nature. These are not fanatics, not ascetics, they did not give up life, their faces express an interest in everything that exists, they have something to tell each other, than to share with each other. These ordinary people have much in common with the world around them. They refused only from absolutely unnecessary, unnecessary, including everything that could lead to a meaningless mutually destructive. The universe, which created man, with abundant ability to provide all of its material and spiritual needs, but is a person able to use the proposed wealth? Delivered face to face with his ancestor – Nature, he is obliged to solve this matter
“Jacob with the Angel” (1940) – a biblical legend about how the legendary patriarch Jacob, without recognizing in the angel the herald of Truth, entered into a fight with him. If in the first two paintings the artist skillfully uses the landscape as an integral part of the composition, “working” to reveal the main idea of the work, then in “Yakov and Angel” there are no attributes of time and place. They would violate the universality of the legend, its inherent realism of universality.
The canvas depicts two figures merged in the frenzied tension of struggle and the earth and sky, piled up by this struggle. A whirlwind of light and darkness, which is able to turn everything up to the ground both in the person himself and in the world around him. Looking at this painting, you involuntarily ask the question: do we always correctly define the boundary between good and evil in ourselves and in the world around us? Are they able to discern the truth from lies? Are you ready to not make a mistake on the sharp turns of history and stand on the right side? This question, given to the viewer by Svyatoslav Roerich, is essential for every person at all times. In 1940 (the fortieth, as the elder of the Roerichs emphasized), he had a special meaning and particular concreteness. In exactly what they were, Svyatoslav Roerich expressively revealed in his triptych, in the pictures “When the Yogis are Gathered,” “