Description of the picture:
And we are working – Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich. Tempera on canvas. 71 x 101.5 cm.
This creation is included in the artistic cycle of St. Nicholas Roerich “St.”, which describes the life of Russian saints. The painting was created in 1922, when the master lived in New York. He was inspired by the idea of bringing Russian culture, art and philosophical thought to the Americans. The idea was crowned with success – Roerich’s exhibitions were enormously popular.
The painting “And We Work” depicts three elders. We do not see their faces, the figures are depicted extremely schematically, but the viewer feels their humility, piety, peacefulness and concentration. On their shoulders are heavy rockers, from which their silhouettes are bent. But it is obvious that the righteous do not shun hard work, but do it with humility. The author seems to say that harmony in human life can be achieved only through painstaking work. This refers us to the teachings of Blessed Sergius of Radonezh, whom Nikolai Konstantinovich honored and repeatedly portrayed in his works.
Special attention should be paid to the landscape of the picture. In the background you can see the hills on which the monastery complex rises, surrounded by wooden observation towers. Below is a river to which three monks are heading. It is interesting that the river gradually merges into a single space with earth and sky, which creates the illusion of the infinity of the celestial spheres, emphasizing the sanctity of this place.
The canvas elements do not contain sharp corners, and there are no sharp color transitions. The composition is designed in golden, brown and black colors with a soft gradient. Roerich achieved this effect of the play of light thanks to his favorite tempera technique."