Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Nicolai Fechin: His Time in Taos

My first notice of the name, Nicolai Fechin (1881-1955) was that he was a painter who had lived in Taos, New Mexico. What? How was that possible that I'd never heard of him? After all, I've written so many blogs about artists living in that inspiring artistic area. Naturally, I looked him up on Google.

To my surprise, the first three pages (perhaps more because I stopped at 3) were all about Mr. Fechin. As a matter of fact, in 2011 Sotheby's in New York announced the auction of one of his pieces expected to sell anywhere from $3 million to $5 million! Very impressive, I'd say.

First, a little background on him and then a sampling of his works. Fechin was born in Kazan, Russia. After he finished his art training, he returned to his hometown where he painted and taught painting. He became known in America when he exhibited in Pennsylvania in 1910. Thirteen years later, he and his family immigrated to the United States.

Disaster struck for Fechin when it was discovered that he had tuberculosis. His best hope for recovery was to move to a dry climate. Hence, his move to Taos, New Mexico. There, he discovered a passion for Western subjects such as the landscape and the Native Americans - both considered to be some of his finest works.

Fechin left a large footprint in Taos. The house he lived in is on The National Registry of Historic Places and is now the location for the Taos Art Museum. If you've ever been there, did you know you were stepping inside Fechin's home?

Below are some of his interesting paintings and sketches. Did you know of him? What do you think of his style? his works? As for me, guess I'm going to need to do more research on Taos artists.

Portrait Sketches:

Paintings of Taos:

Native American Portraits:


  1. Didn't know about him. His art is very good. I especially like his sketches.

  2. I have never heard of him. It's interesting that his portraits are so detailed and his landscapes are so loose. sz

  3. It's amazing. No, I didn't know about him. Fran

  4. Was he really that old when he died...his paintings are fantastic ESP the portraits..no wonder they command such prices. Jackie

    1. Ooops... should be 1955 not 1995. Thanks for noticing. Guess I'll have to print an errata.

  5. I love Fechin. Never saw it before but really like it, especially his portraits. MAR

  6. Interesting...I'd never heard of him either. He really has faces down! Of course I think of Georgia when I see the landscapes. I visited the O'Keeffe museum, but not the Taos one. Thanks for sharing. Justine