Cultural and educational ideas of N.K. Roerich corresponding to the best traditions of Russian pedagogical science constitute favourable basis for work with children especially in our days full of dramatic search and changes.
The significance of this work, with no doubt, increases in Izvara – family mansion of N.K. Roerich which had special meaning not only in life and creative work of N.K. Roerich but in the process of his formation and education. Thank to very vivid impressions of the childhood left by N.K. Roerich in his diary today we can see Izvara through his eyes, that he was keeping for all his life:
“ Everything which is so dear, memorable and special for me is connected with summer months spent in Izvara” – N.K. Roerich wrote about Izvara at the end of his life in “Pages of Diary”.
It was this mansion of his parents not far from St.Petersburg that became the beginning of the artist’s life, source of his inspiring search in painting and science.
He owes his entering nature, touching its secrets, love to it to Izvara, here the artist spent his childhood and youth, it became not only the family mansion but also the great source of inspiration, a spring of creative activity which defined all his life.
“I was less than two when remembered Izvara, a forestry estate near the station of Volosovo, 40 versts from Gatchina” - N.K. Roerich wrote in his memoirs. “You need to run around everything. There is a granary near the house preserved from the epoch of Cathrine II… You need to run to the lake along the straight valley. Springs are not frozen in winter. They smoke, steam in snow, the water is light and icy. Wild ducks and geese sit here, near the bank…”
Both in early childhood and youth old times and nature would surround N.K. Roerich in Izvara.
N.K. Roerich owes Izvara not only his love to nature but the aspiration to explore the surrounding world. He collects herbaria and minerals, at the age of 13 he received approval from the local authorities to collect eggs in forestry dachas of the district for scientific purpose all year round, it resulted in work “Division of birds of St. Petersburg district in subdivisions, categories, detachments and families”, short stories published in the magazine “Russky okhotnik” (Russian hunter) and an essay “Hunting in Tsarskoselsky uezd” which describes in detail the nature of “Izvara forestry dacha”. His hunting hobby also resulted in his condition to the cold and becoming enduring which mainly defined success of expeditions he later conducted in Asia.
Explaining his hobby of hunting in the letter to V.V. Stasov (1897) N.K. Roerich wrote: “But I cannot leave animal hunting – it’s too historical”.
Nature and history, old legends are interlinked in the mansion: “…impressions of spring nights and sunrises, hubbub of bird flocks, long trips in winter forest – all this contributes to special lifestyle” - N.K. Roerich stated. Laws of world order were opened for young N.K. Roerich in Izvara: “Nature is always reasonable” – he wrote.
It’s logical that in one of his essays devoted to the main idea of his life – protection of cultural values as the humanity heritage embodied in the movement of the Banner of Pe?ce and Roerich’s Pact, many years after he would write: “The sacred feeling of a deed in search for great decisions were implanted since childhood when we hunted in vast forests of Russia not to kill but to penetrate secrets of nature…”