Nikolai Fechin (Russian, 1881-1955) Portrait of Mary Kiker, 1927

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Lot 71*
Nikolai Fechin
(Russian, 1881-1955)
Portrait of Mary Kiker, 1927
Sold for £ 102,000 (US$ 133,059) inc. premium

Lot Details
Nikolai Fechin (Russian, 1881-1955)
Portrait of Mary Kiker, 1927
signed in Latin (lower right); further dedicatory inscription applied to verso 'To Mrs. M. Kiker from N. Fechin'
oil on canvas
33.7 x 28.5cm (13 1/4 x 11 1/4in).

Footnotes

  • PROVENANCE:
    Gifted by the artist to Judge Henry Alexander Kiker (the sitter's step-father) in 1931
    Purchased from the sitter in 2008 by the present owners

    The unique and unmistakable style of Nikolai Fechin enabled him to gain artistic recognition both in Russia and in America. His works are characterised by rich colours, boldness of form and broad brushstrokes combined with an intimate depiction of the subject. Praised as an exceptional portrait painter, Fechin excelled in painting children and the present work is yet another example of his brilliant style. Fechin's daughter Eya became friends with the nine-year old Mary Kiker who was her neighbour while the family lived in Taos. Mary's father, Henry Alexander Kiker, was a lawyer and New Mexico Supreme Court Justice in 1954-1958, who later assisted Fechin with his divorce procedure. Fechin was captivated by the lively and cheerful little girl and asked Henry Kiker if Mary could sit for a portrait. It took about three months to complete the present portrait, and in 1931 the portrait was given to Judge Kiker as a token of friendship. In 1975, Mary Kiker, now Wheeler, inherited the portrait from her father. At a later date Eya requested the portrait for an exhibition of Fechin's works organized at the Fechins' house in Taos. At that time the portrait was reframed and the artist's signature and dedication from the original frame was attached to reverse, where it can be seen today.
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