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NEW DELHI, April 11. /TASS/. Russian artist Nikolai Roerich’s Pilgrim in the Himalayas painting sold for $17.4 mln rupees (roughly $260,000) at an auction arranged in India’s Mumbai by Osian’s art auction house, Osian’s founder and chairman Neville Tuli told reporters on Tuesday.
"All the lots from Indira Gandhi’s family collection sold well, meeting and exceeding their auction estimates," he said. According to Tuli, "items from late Indira Gandhi’s family collection have been sold big at an auction in Mumbai." "Besides Gandhi, KCS Paniker’s Words and Symbols Series painting sold at 1.80 crore rupees while Nicholas Roerich’s Pilgrim in the Himalayas fetched 1.74 crore rupees," he added.
After leaving Russia, Nikolai Roerich spent a large part of his life in India. He passed away in his Himalayan estate in Naggar, located in the Kullu valley (the state of Himachal Pradesh). The estate now hosts an office of the International Memorial Roerich Trust and a museum storing paintings of Nikolai Roerich and his son Svyatoslav.
It took Nikolai Roerich many years to complete his Himalayas series. He created some of the paintings during his Central Asian expedition which is why these paintings are small in size. These pictures of upland scenery, reflecting not only the real landscape but also the artist’s spiritual experience, are some kind of illustrations for Roerich’s travel diary.
In 1942, Indira Gandhi and her father Jawaharlal Nehru, the first prime minister of India, spent a few days at Roerich’s estate. "That was a memorable visit to a surprising and gifted family where each member was a remarkable figure in himself, with a well-defined range of interests," Gandhi said later. "Roerich himself stays in my memory. He was a man with extensive knowledge and enormous experience, a man with a big heart, deeply influenced by all that he observed."