Evening. At the Dacha. Beginning of 1910th
Oil on canvas
When the words ‘evening’ and ‘dacha’, or country house, are put together, an image is instantly suggested of people taking time off, relaxing, sitting down to tea behind brightly lit windows, and engaging in conversation. Speaking of his pupil Leonard Turzhansky, the artist Konstantin Korovin would say: “I do envy him – there is such poetry in his paintings, such remarkable character!” In class, he would advise everyone to pay attention to the manner in which Turzhansky worked and to learn from him. Among the artists of the Urals region Turzhansky (himself originally from Yekaterinburg), received the nickname ‘father Leonard.’ He had the unquestionable authority of a master and many followers, who were trying to emulate his style and even competed with each other to make their own more ‘turzhanesque.’ The most astonishing thing however, for those who knew the artist and witnessed him at work, was his palette, always with “heaps of dirty paints” on it. Turzhansky, quite literally, never cleaned it. It is amazing how from all this “dirt” he was able to bring out such pure, sunny colours in the scenes he depicted. His ability to communicate the atmosphere of quiet rural existence was remarkable.