Nicholas Roerich, also known also as Nikolai Konstantinovich Rerikh, was a Russian painter, writer, archaeologist, theosophist, philosopher, and public figure. In his youth was influenced by Russian Symbolism, a movement in Russian society centered on the spiritual. He was interested in hypnosis and other spiritual practices and his paintings are said to have hypnotic expression.
Born in Saint Petersburg, to a well-to-do notary public Baltic German father and to a Russian mother, Roerich lived in various places in the world until his death in Naggar, Himachal Pradesh, India. Trained as an artist and a lawyer, his main interests were literature, philosophy, archaeology, and especially art. Roerich was a dedicated activist for the cause of preserving art and architecture during times of war. He was nominated several times to the longlist for the Nobel Peace Prize. The so-called Roerich Pact was signed into law by the United States and most other nations of the Pan-American Union in April 1935.