Nicholas Roerich (1874–1947) was a Russian artist and philosopher who originally conceived of the concept of The Rite Of Spring. While Igor Stravinsky was composing his first ballet The Firebird in1910 for the Ballets Russes, Roerich presented the composer with a storyline for a ballet which depicted a pagan ritual where a young woman dances herself to death. This eventually became The Rite Of Spring, a work for which Roerich designed the stage sets and costumes.
While Roerich enjoyed a successful lifelong career, his association with The Rite of Spring is what he is most praised for today. As a result, he currently has a following of devoted supporters who promote not only his artwork, but also his philosophical teachings. Nicholas and his wife Helena Roerich were both interested in mysticism, Eastern religious ideas and theosophy, spreading the Agni Yoga, or “Living Ethics,” a set of teachings aimed at instructing people how to live. The Nicholas Roerich Museum and Agni Yoga Society in New York are dedicated to keeping Nicholas Roerich’s work alive.