Portrait of a Taos girl

This is another example of Fechin's masterful portraits from his Taos period. 

"The years in Taos were very kind to Fechin in many respects. He had found contentment with the abundance of subject material from which to select his work. He could not have dreamed of a more spacious or attractive home and studio. Furthermore, the work he was doing was in demand and was being accorded new laurels of praise wherever his paintings were shown. Writing in the April 17, 1930 issue of Los Angeles Express, Alma May Cook described Fechin's exhibition of paintings as "the most notable ever shown in Los Angeles ... a technique worthy of a Rembrandt ... [Fechin's work is] the art of the old masters, possibly more than any other painter of modern times ... an art that is truly a gift to the gods" (quoted in H. McCracken, Nicolai Fechin, New York, 1961, p. 13). 


Oil on canvas


86cm × 64cm

Nikolai Fechin
1881 - 1955

Nicolai Ivanovich Fechin was a Russian-American painter best known for his portraits, full of colour and dynamism. He is both the most prominent member of the Kazan Art School as well as perceived as an American painter by many in the US. Educated in Kazan and Imperial Academy of Arts in St Petersburg, Nikolai Fechin was a disciple of Ilya Repin.

In 1923, Fechin emigrated to the US, first settling in New York and then moving to Taos, New Mexico. The artist's life and creative work were divided between Russia and US, with the artist developing a following in both countries.  Fechin was an exquisite colourist and was intoxicated by the breadth of tones which the New Mexican landscapes offered him. A trip to Siberia in 1904 had intially fuelled Fechin's fascination with native people and cultures and this interest was re-kindled in New Mexico in his later years.