Petr Nikolaevich Turgenev (1853/4 - 1912) - famous French sculptor of Russian origin, the son of the sentenced to death by Nikolai I decembrist N.I. Turgenev and the Swiss Baroness. He lived and worked near Paris in Malmaison.
Talented sculptor-animalist, Turgenev studied under the famous artist Emmanuel Frémiet. He was known as a permanent exhibitor and prizewinner of Paris Salon exhibitions from 1880 to 1911, four times he received the honorary awards. Turgenev's sculpture won the Grand Prix during the Exposition Universelle in 1889. In 1903, for successful creative and social activities, P.N. Turgenev received the highest award of the French Republic - Legion of Honor Order.
The sculptor created monumental works, easel sculptures and cabinet miniatures, as well as small decorative plastics, prize cups and vases, which were traditionally ordered by Paris military aristocracy as commemorative and jubilee gifts. More than 150 works (sculptures and decorative plastics) were the result of the master’s creative work for half a century.
The most prominent Turgenev’s animalistic compositions are “German shepherd dog”, “Bulldog”, “Two bassets”, “Bear”, “Percheron stallion”, “Half-bred horse”, “Mare Teresa”, “Russian stallion Visapur”. Turgenev's genre works are well known as well - "Shepherdess with geese", "Pulling by the towing-rope”, "Shepherd in steppe". Equestrian portraits of the contemporaries were particularly successful – portreit of the Russian Emperor Alexander I, portreit of the traveler Charles Cottet on the mare Irish Lace and portreit of Madame X on horseback. Turgenev reconstructed the historical images of the famous equestrians: Peter I, the Siberia conqueror Yermak Timofeyevich, Louis - Count of Nassau, the 14th century hunter with hounds and even Diana, the goddess of hunting.
The sculptor imprinted historical scenes from the French army life, its cavalry regiments – the majority of his works fit into the range of military-animalistic genre, of which he was a thorough connoisseur.