3 June 2015
Banner of Peace, signed twice with monograms “NR” and “MR”, inscribed “pax cultura” and dated 1931, further numbered “No. 38” on the reverse.
Pencil and tempera on paper, laid on board, 15 by 23 cm (sheet size).
Provenance: Roerich Museum, New York, USA, 1932–1935.
Collection of Nettie and Louis Horch, USA, from 1935.
Thence by descent.
Private collection, USA.
Exhibited: Roerich Museum, New York (permanent collection), 1932, No. 38.
Banner of Peace, 1935-2015. Exhibition of Works by N. and S. Roerich Dedicated to the 80th Anniversary of the Signing of the Roerich Pact, MacDougall’s, London, 25 February–13 March 2015.
Literature: Nicholas Roerich’s personal list of paintings from 1931, listed as “No. 38. Znamya mira”.
Roerich Museum, inventory list (1931–1935), listed as “Banner of Peace. 1931. $500, sent to Paris for making postcard and later transshipped to New-York.”
The present lot is a painting of the Banner of Peace, a symbol of the cause that earned Nicholas Roerich the nomination for the Nobel Peace prize in 1929 and which culminated in the signing of the Roerich Peace Pact by Franklin D. Roosevelt and representatives of twenty Latin American countries at the White House on 15 April, 1935. The Peace Pact called for the Banner of Peace to be flown over important cultural buildings and monuments to protect them from the destruction of war. The signing of the Peace Pact, “represented the culmination of Roerich’s thirty-six year effort to focus international attention on the importance of preserving and protecting the world’s cultural legacy.” (Jacqueline Decter, Nicholas Roerich, 1989)
The painting portrays the symbol of the Roerich Peace Pact within a banner and with the words, “Pax Cultura” or “Peace through Culture” written underneath. To Roerich, Peace through Culture was an important belief and guided his many artistic works, as well as his teachings and organizational activities. As the artist stated, “Where there is Peace, there is Culture; Where there is Culture there is Peace.” The symbol of the three dots within a circle appears in about ten of Roerich’s known works. This painting is the most official representation and the most widely-known painting of the Banner of Peace worldwide.
Notes on symbols:
* Indicates 5% Import Duty Charge applies.
Ω Indicates 20% Import Duty Charge applies.
§ Indicates Artist's Resale Right applies.
† Indicates Standard VAT scheme applies, and the rate of 20% VAT will be charged on both hammer price and premium.