Nicolai Fechin – Russian 1881-1955

Nicolai Fechin Nicolai Fechin was born in 1881 in the city of Kazan, Russia, the son of Ivan Alexandrovitch Fechin, an accomplished icon maker, woodcarver, and gilder. At the age of thirteen Fechin was ready to begin his life’s work, attending the Kazan School of Art (1895-1901) and then the St. Petersburg Imperial Academy of Arts, where he was taught by the great Russian master, Ilya Repin. His work appeared in America for the first time at the 1910 International Exhibit of the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh. In both western Europe and America, Fechin was greeted with instant acclaim. Among such distinguished contemporaries as Claude Monet, Pisarro, Gaston Latouche, Sisley and John Sargent, he won his first prizes and medals. He was called a “Moujik in art”, the “Tartar painter.”

Hardships following the Bolshevik Revolution eventually led Fechin to take his wife Alexandra and daughter Eya to the United States in 1923. The family first settled in New York but not for long. Since a child, he had loved the somber forests and peoples near the Tartar border in his homeland. He found their equal in the high pine forests of the Colorado Plateau, the old adobe villages, and the Pueblo, Apache and Navajo tribes Nicolai Fechinof the American Southwest. In 1926 he moved his family to Taos, where a small community of artists also made their home. He purchased a house in the middle of seven acres adjoining the Indian reservation. His father’s influence took over as Fechin spent the next several years handcrafting every viga, corbel, lintel and swinging door and niche for icons. Today the home itself remains a work of architectural art and is the base for the Taos Art Museum – a non-profit cultural organization formed in 1981 to celebrate the life and creative pursuits of Nicolai Fechin and to host exhibits, concerts and make available information about this artist.

For seven years, before finally settling in Santa Monica, Fechin took great delight in the abundance of subject matter the Taos area provided him. He worked with vibrant hues to paint the native people and traveled south to Mexico to sketch in charcoal, pencil and pastel the many faces of its people. The sketches reveal the superb draftsmanship underlying all his work. Author Frank Waters once wrote of Fechin,s paintings, “How they shout and sing! No man has this intensity of color. Few can equal his masterful draftsmanship. Whatever his subject, Fechin’s work is stamped with his immediately recognizable style.

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Drawings of Nicolai Fechin by Galina P. Tuluzakova, Forward by Sherrie McGraw – Fechin Art (2007)

Direct from Publisher, 153 pages. Beautiful reproductions of charcoal drawings. Hard Bound. Fechin’s drawings are found in numerous museums and private collections around the world. Many works, never before documented, are gathered together for the first time in this title, which is the first publication devoted entirely to the drawings of Nicolai Fechin. Hardcover, 153 pages with 134 plates of charcoal drawings. A stunning collection of a master draftsman’s works. -from

Nicolai Fechin: The Art and the Life by Galina P. Tuluzakova – Hardcover: 457 pages; Fechin Art; 1st edition (2012)

Nicolai Fechin, The ART and the LIFE, features works and photographs from the immediate family being published for the first time. Author Galina Tuluzakova is the unrivaled expert on Fechin’s education, technique and philosophy. This volume is truly the definitive story and full visual presentation of Fechin. A publication that will be treasured by artists and collectors. 462 pages with 427 vibrant color plates of Fechin’s work. -from

The Genius of Nicolai Fechin: Recollections by Forrest Fenn by Forrest Fenn – Hardcover: 146 pages; Nedra Matteucci Galleries; 1st edition (2001)

Nicolai Fechin: Across Two Continents by Amy Scott, Nicolai Fechin (Illustrator) – Paperback; Gerald Peters Gallery; Limited edition (1997)

A catalog published by Gerald Peters Gallery to coincide with a retrospective exhibition of portraits, landscapes, still lifes, sketeches and sculpture by the celebrated Russian-American artist (1881-955). The text includes the author's interview with the artist's daughter, Eya. There are more than 50 examples Fechin's art, all reproduced in in color.

Nicolai Fechin 1881-1955 Palace Edition by Evgenia Petrova – Hardcover: 116 pages; Language: Russian

Nicolai Fechin Fechin Art (1999)

Fechin was known as the living old master … an artist’s artist. Others called him the Michaelangelo of our time.His talents in so many diverse disciplines was unique indeed — a master of painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, woodcarving and ceramics.What his eyes saw and his hands touched, became a creative experience. His talents in so many diverse disciplines were unique indeed – a master of painting, drawing, sculpture, architecture, woodcarving & ceramics. Nicolai Fechin died in 1955, but his sensitive and dramatic portraits in charcoal and oils are a legacy which stirs the emotions and inspires visions. The insight and warmth he transfered from life to canvas are in this classic volume originally published in 1975, now in its fourth printing by Fechin Art Reproductions. Written by Mary N. Balcomb, with a forward by Fechin’s daughter Eya Fechin, this 167 page volume covers Fechin’s life from Russia in 1881 to America in 1955. A stunning book with over 150 illustrations including 60 color reproductions of his inspiring artwork.

Fechin: The Builder by Eya Fechin with Moses Porter – Paperback; Fechin Art Reproductions (1997)

Nicolai Fechin was an artist of two continents. Half of his career was spent in Russia (1881-1923), where his education, training and warmest acclaim took place. The latter part of his life and artistic development took place in America (1923-1955). This book focuses on the incredible architecture, design, woodcarving & beauty of the house that Fechin built in Taos, NM in the 1920’s. He considered Taos as his American home and it is there that a Russian house evolved from the New Mexico mud. It is that house which is celebrated in this book. -from

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