Elijah the Prophet

Nicolas Roerich

Nicolas Roerich, St. Elijah – The Prophet, 1931. Tempera on canvas, Roerich Museum, New York.

This dramatic painting illustrates the biblical story of the prophet Elijah ascending to heaven above the Jordan River in a fiery chariot. Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947), a Russian-born artist who created more than seven thousand works in his lifetime, was a cultural visionary of the arts. In the 1920s, he composed a treaty for the protection of historic monuments, museums, and scientific, artistic, educational, and cultural institutions. This treaty, called the Roerich Pact, became an international treaty in 1935 and was ratified by 10 nations.