Tuesday, October 12, 2021

Patrick Saunders Fine Arts - Art Review - "Mrs. Fechin and Daughter" by Nicolai Fechin

Today's #MuseumTourTuesday features a painting in a private collection, and I consider it such an amazing piece that I feel the need to share my admiration. It's a painting by Nicolai Fechin. Yes, I know, I post a lot of Fechin's work, but it's always for good reason.

This piece is so intriguing to me, first and foremost for its cross-genre appeal. Is it a portrait, or a still life? By its title, it's a portrait, but nothing stands out more in this painting than the foreground still life. The figures are subdued in value contrast, and the child especially recedes into the background. The foreground still life is sharp and dominant in both value contrast and color saturation. 
My own take is that it is definitely a portrait. Despite the title, it is not simply a dual portrait of Fechin's wife and child, but a family portrait. The artist himself is included in the reflected metal of the tea urn, although abstracted to the point of illegibility. I see the still life as representative of Nicolai himself. A way to include himself in the family composition and still be the one capturing the scene. 
Regardless of my own read on the image, the painting is an undeniably bold composition. I love it when a painting transcends the categories we so often attempt to push art into. - Patrick Saunders

"Mrs. Fechin and Daughter" • Nicolai Fechin • Oil on Canvas • 1925 • 34 1/2" x 31 1/2"
© Patrick and Kimberly Saunders, Saunders Fine Arts, 2021. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this site’s authors/owners is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Patrick Saunders for painted works, or to Kimberly Saunders for photographs and/or videos, with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.

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