Nicolai Fechin: life and works

By Gwylym Owen

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Nicolai Fechin (Nikolai Ivanovich Feshin; Russian: Николай Иванович Фешин; 26 November 1881 (Kazan, Russia) – 5 October 1955 (Santa Monica, California)) was a Russian-American painter known for his portraits and works featuring Native Americans, and who was eventually known in the West, because of his roots, as “the Tartar painter”. After graduating subsequently the highest marks from the Imperial Academy of Arts and traveling in Europe below a Prix de Rome, he returned to his native Kazan, where he taught and painted. He exhibited his first proceed in the United States in 1910 in an international exhibition in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. After immigrating in the same way as his relations to New York in 1923 and in force there for a few years, Fechin developed tuberculosis and moved West for a drier climate. He and his family fixed in Taos, New Mexico, where he became fascinated by Native Americans and the landscape. His best statute while in the United States was of these elements. The adobe house which he renovated in Taos is listed upon the National Register of Historic Places and is used as the Taos Art Museum. After leaving Taos in 1933, Fechin eventually settled in southern California.

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