Nicholas Roerich known as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh was a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist, enlightener, philosopher, and public figure. Bonham’s sold his masterpiece, Modonna Laboris, last wednesday for $12 million.
Painted in 1931 this painting has become the most expensive Russian painting in history. Director of Russian Art at Bonham’s in New York, Yalena Harbrick, before the auction had anticipated this development, and she was right, because the picture really interested collectors worldwide.
Anonymous telephone bidder has won the auction, and appropriated this masterpiece. Once known as a lost treasure, until it re-merged in a private collection in the US, this painting is a rare piece of art, and is one among the series of works depicting Great Female Deities of the World by Nikolai Roerich, which was once an obsession with the artist.
The Madonna Laboris portrays the Virgin Mary inside the blue, glowing walls of heaven, letting down her scarf to help souls climb in. The painting is known for its “balanced and harmonious composition, rich and saturated tones of turquoise, cerulean blues, sea-foam greens with black and fiery-red accents”.