Nicholas Roerich left after his death an incredible number of works dedicated to the heroes and their great deeds. The work of “Sadko” is a large panel, which was included in the cycle of works “Bogatyr Frieze”.
The panel interests the public by the fact that on it we see not the hero Sadko, but an ordinary person. Sadko is believed to be the epic hero of the Novgorod epic. He was a world famous musician, played the harp. With his singing and playing, Sadko enchanted the audience. Once Sadko even defeated the king of the sea, but Roerich abandoned the pathos of the plot. He turned to the other side of Sadko’s life – he portrayed him as a merchant.
We see a wide deep-water river. Blue waters go far away, right up to the horizon line. The artist portrayed a truly mighty Russian river: military and merchant ships sail along it, she irrigates the land. Several small ships sail along the river. It is seen that the artist is well acquainted with the old Russian art. Each ship has its own peculiarity, interesting painting and pattern. The ship, on which sails Sadko, depicted in the center of the picture. On board there are several sailors and goods, which will soon be sold at the fair.
On both banks of the river stretches the glorious city of Veliky Novgorod. This city was famous as a center of trade in Russia. The artist intentionally writes a smaller version of the city. Veliky Novgorod is shown rather as a model, but thanks to such a manner of writing, we can make out the whole hail in great detail.
As expected, in the center of the old Russian city is a white-stone cathedral. Around the cathedral, we see several more white buildings that are surrounded by a high wall of white stone. To protect Velikiy Novgorod from the raids of enemy troops, they also decided to enclose the city with a high stone wall. The panel is painted with very bright colors. It creates a feeling of an impending holiday or fair.