To the 170th birth anniversary of the sculptor-animalist Pyotr Turgenev

Pyotr Nikolayevich Turgenev (1853-1912) was born into the family of the Russian thinker Nikolai Turgenev and Clara Viaris, the daughter of an Italian marquis, who served as a general in the French army. Pyotr Turgenev was born, lived all his life and died in Paris, but despite that was a great connoisseur and admirer of Russian culture. He maintained friendly relations with his distant relative Ivan Turgenev.

Pyotr Turgenev began to studying sculpture in 1865 when he worked under the tutelage of the sculptor Emmanuel Frémiet (1824-1910). He proved so successful that in 1870 his statuette, “Orlov Trotter”, participated in the famous Parisian Salon exhibition. It should be noted that horses in a variety of compositions throughout the sculptor’s life were a favorite subject in the artist's work; he became a recognized artisan in this sphere. For example, following the advice of Ivan Turgenev, he executed a life-size group "Russian Peasant with a Pair of Horses". He created 23 life-size horse figures as an assistant to Jean Baptiste Édouard Detaille (1848-1912), who was commissioned to reproduce the French army for the 1900 Paris World Exhibition. As a result of his excellent sculptural work and especially for creation of equestrian groups, he became well known in France and won numerous commissions, mostly from the French War Ministry. He was awarded the Légion d'honneur in 1897.

His other passion was creating the images of Russian cultural and historic personalities. The statue of Yermak on horseback, monuments to Alexander II and Alexander III, and portrait sculpture of Ivan Turgenev are worth mentioning. Well-known are also the life-size group of French hobblers (for which real hobblers posed), a marble group "The springhead", a statue of a young girl playing the flute.

The sculptor executed monumental works, easel sculpture and miniature cabinet sculpture, as well as small decorative plastic -- prize cups and vases, which were traditionally ordered by the military aristocracy in Paris as memorable and anniversary gifts. More than 150 works of sculpture and decorative plastics have been the result of half a century of creative work.

The name of Pyotr Nikolayevich Turgenev became known in Russia only from the 1900s. In 1907, he was elected an honorary member of the Imperial Academy of Sciences.

The museum Collection section “Sculptures” features several works of Pyotr Nikolayevich Turgenev
"A Bear", "German Shepherd Dog" and "Napoleon's Hussar of 1806" are among them.