Portrait of WG Watts, the wood engraver

​This fascinating composition offers the viewer an unusual perspective of the wood engraver. Fechin loved the Old Masters painters such as Holbein and the Genre painters of the Dutch Golden Age such as Vermeer and de Hooch. This picture, painted shortly after Fechin's move to the United States, has a remarkable atmosphere of stillness.


Oil on canvas


127cm × 101.6cm

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.