Portrait of Nadezhda Mikhailovna Sapozhnikova - Nikolai Ivanovich Feshin. 121 x 131 cm
Nikolai Ivanovich Feshin is called a master and virtuoso of painting. He is equally talented in everything - in the expression of impressionism, in the modern fashion at that time, in classical academicism.
But, the basis and peak of his activity is a portrait. There are a lot of them, mainly these are people close to him, acquaintances, relatives, students. Looking at the gallery of paintings, you can see a frequently encountered model - Sapozhnikova Nadezhda Mikhailovna. She is a student of Feshin, an assistant and philanthropist, a true friend of the artist.
Nadezhda Sapozhnikova, daughter of a wealthy Kazan merchant, came to study at Feshin's workshop in 1904. She has creative inclinations, hard work, a desire to become an artist. The student is four years older than the teacher and soon they become good friends. Feshin appreciates in her goodwill and education, clarity and sharpness of mind, womanly decisiveness and energy.
One of Feshin’s famous paintings is “Portrait of Sapozhnikova N.M.” (against the background of wallpaper), written in 1916.
Sapozhnikova is not a beauty in the understanding of this word, but smart eyes, penetratingly and openly looking at the author, a nice oval face, a hand with a graceful curvature holds a fan, a white ball gown, a shawl casually thrown off - all this catches instantly and “catches” the look.
The composition is built on the background of painstakingly and lovingly painted patterns on the wall. Wallpaper of a soft, golden hue sets off Nadezhda Mikhailovna, creates an atmosphere of softness, gives charm, and together with the author you get carried away and imbued with an understanding of the personality of a young woman. Indeed, for Feshin, beauty is the individuality of a model, its character and expressiveness. And in Sapozhnikova you can feel an extraordinary personality, charm and hidden energy.
As in many of Feshin’s works, a certain incompleteness is felt in the picture. Maybe the author was going to finalize it, or maybe he wanted to let the viewer feel and appreciate the process of creating a masterpiece.
The friendship between two creative people lasts until the departure of Nikolai Ivanovich in exile. Subsequently, Sapozhnikova left Kazan for Moscow, where she died in 1944.