Nicolai Fechin Art
Portrait of Nadezhda Sapozhnikova, 11 x 7.50, etching
This print (sometimes titled “A Russian Lady”) is more than a faithful reproduction of Fechin’s show-stopping “Portrait of Mademoiselle Sapozhnikova.” It is an analysis of Fechin’s idiosyncratic technique by a sensitive draftsman. Look closely and you’ll see that engraver William G. Watt (1867-1924) has painstakingly conveyed the wobbly paths and sticky hills first created by individual bristles. This was no small task, considering the original oil caused one critic to exclaim that it demonstrates the “most dexterous technique imaginable and throbs with vitality.”
The charm of this particular print is its unusual trio of signatures and the friendship it suggests. In the top left corner, Watt has reproduced the Cyrillic signature Fechin painted on the 1908 original. Watt also included his own name and date in the lower right: Wm. G. Watt 1912. (Presumably, the Pennsylvania-based engraver saw the “Sapozhnikova” painting when it debuted at the Carnegie Exhibition in 1910.) Most exciting is the final signature, penned in ink atop the print, reading “N. Fechin 1924.” That same year, Fechin produced a portrait of Watt in the latter’s workshop. Titled “The Wood Engraver,” the oil painting hung in the National Academy of Design’s Winter Exhibition and won Fechin the prestigious Thomas R. Proctor prize. Fechin likely signed Watt’s “Sapozhnikova” print during the same visit as the portrait painting. Fechin, who reportedly painted Watt simply “for his own pleasure,” depicted the engraver with warm veneration. Watt is shown bent carefully over his work, like a Medieval scribe, illuminated by window light. That tender portrait, and Fechin’s signature on this Watt engraving, indicate a friendship built on mutual admiration.
Lithograph Portfolio- 16 prints of charcoal drawings
Portfolio insert signed by Nicolai Fechin
Carmalita Bronze 3.5 x 1.5
*Sold* Portrait of Mrs. Dean Cornwell 24 x 20 Oil on Canvas