On November 28 in London, Sotheby's sells a portrait of Nadezhda Sapozhnikova painted by Nikolai in 1908, oil on canvas 142 x 90 cm, lot 39 estimated £ 1.2M. In line with Nikolai's interest in rurality, the young woman wears an ample Russian costume typical of the 1840s. A little older than Nikolai, Nadezhda is his pupil in Kazan and no doubt also an inspiration for his new style.
She is sitting and leaning in a dynamic attitude accentuated by a diagonal composition. The vigorous impasto by the knife blurs the lines. This portrait already displays the vibrant energy and psychological intensity that characterize the art of Fechin throughout his career, first in Russia and in the United States from 1923. This painting exhibited in 1910 in Pittsburgh will be able to compete with Manet and Sargent.
By its quality and its originality the art of Fechin has keen followers. Painted in the same year as Nadezhda's portrait, an ambitiously sized rural wedding scene 186 x 282 cm was sold for $ 3.3M including premium by Sotheby's on November 1, 2011. A cheerful portrait of a boy in a costume and attitude of cowboy painted in 1940, 76 x 51 cm, was sold by Macdougall's in December 2010 for £ 7M over a lower estimate of £ 500K.
The lot is being sold for the acquisition fund of the San Diego Museum of Art. The image is shared by Wikimedia.
SOLD for £ 3.65M including premium