On the Terrace, 1913
Oil on canvas
The State Museum of Fine Arts of the Republic of Tatarstan
After graduating from the Imperial Academy of Arts in 1909, Pavel Benkov returned to his native Kazan Art School, this time as a teacher. By that time, Nikolai Fechin had already taught drawing and painting at the School.
The painting “On the Terrace” is undoubtably one of Benkov's strongest plein-air paintings. It was painted in the village of Vasilievo near Kazan, where Benkov rented a cottage. The picturesque Volga riverbank with its high pines and flower gardens attracted residents here: before the revolution there had been a library and a small theatre. Summer guests played tennis and sailed on yachts. Nikolay Fechin also loved the area — he bought a house there.
On the railing of the terrace, bathed in the warmth of sunlight, sits a pretty stranger, her eyes fixed somewhere in the distance. The forest behind the house is stained with golden and green colours. Benkov's painting conveys the beauty of life in nature, and the colour palette and figure of the dreamy girl are reminiscent of the best works of Konstantin Korovin.