At Home in New York, 1924
Oil on canvas mounted on board
Private collection, Moscow
The painting “At home in New York” depicts Nikolai Fechin’s wife — Alexandra Nikolaevna. She was born into the family of one of the founders of the Kazan Art School, Nikolai Belkovich, and studied with Fechin at the Kazan School. After the wedding, she gave up painting.
The artist captured his wife doing needlework, when she seems not to notice her husband’s gaze. Sunlight streams through the windows of the room and creates pure white highlights on Alexandra’s figure. The dynamic brush movements and vibrating shades of deep purple and red focus the viewer’s attention on the heroine, while the lavender and gray tones in her clothing help the figure to blend into the overall composition.
When selling the work in 1966, Alexandra Fechin wrote on the back of the canvas with her own hand: “This painting was created in 1924, shortly after we arrived in America. We lived in New York in an apartment overlooking Central Park, and I posed for this picture.”