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Lao-Tze
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Lao-Tze
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Lao-Tze

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NY, US
US

About the object

Lao-Tze, the alleged author of the Tao-te Ching, was considered the founder of Chinese Taoism. The word, tao can be roughly translated into the path or way, it is a power that establishes the harmony of opposites, flows through both living and nonliving things in the world. A contemporary of Confucius, Lao-Tze was at one point worshipped as a deity; some believed him to be a mythical character, others saw him as a philosopher who was searching for a way to end feudal warfare.\n\nBoth Lao-Tze and Confucius (see lot 124) are a part of Roerich’s “Banners of the East,” series, begun before an extensive trip to the United States and Europe in 1924. As in many of Roerich’s Himalayan paintings, there is a sense of urgency in its composition, a mountain traveler on an important mission. Lao-Tze is riding an ox uphill on a perilous journey. He must pass through a bamboo grove on his way to visit the sacred Mount Kailas. However, rather than being deified, Roerich portrays him in small-scale, a mortal fulfilling a spiritual task. Around him, vegetation optimistically blooms, as if prophesying a successful resolution to his travels.\n\n“By our symbols, by our images and tankas, you may see how the great Teachers functioned,” a lama told a seeker in Roerich’s book Himalayas: Abode of Light. “They do not fear to confront the most powerful forces and to ally themselves with them, if only it be for the common well-being.” The artist’s spiritual philosophy incorporated elements of Buddhism, Hinuism, pantheism, theosophy and Russian Orthodoxy. Above all, Roerich refused to adhere to a single philosophical stance; his aim was to unify spiritual teachings into an inclusive, empathetic view on life.\n\nBoth Lao-Tze and Confucius (lot 124) are the two final and most meaningful paintings from the Baltzar Bolling collection to be sold; a number of paintings from the collection are at the Roerich Museum, New York.  There were originally 80 paintings owned by the family.\nSigned with Monogram (lower left)
US
NY, US
US

medium

Tempera on canvas

creator

Nikolai Konstantinovich Roerich

dimensions

29 by 45 1/2 in.

exhibition

Grand Haven, Michigan, Community Center, circa 1960s Atlanta, Ogelthorpe University, circa 1990

literature

Jacqueline Decter, with the Nicholas Roerich Museum, Nicholas Roerich: The Life and Art of a Russian Master, Vermont, 1989, pp. 148-156, p. 149, illustrated

provenance

The Roerich Museum, New York, circa 1930 The Bolling Family Collection (thence by descent)

signedDate

Signed with Monogram (lower left)

artist_nationality

Russian

consignmentDesignation

Property from the Donald Bolling Collection

creator_nationality_dates

1874-1947


*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

*Note that the price is not recalculated to the current value, but refers to the actual final price at the time the product was sold.

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