Late Night Grazing. 1910s
Oil on paper mounted on canvas
The unassuming beauty of the remote Ural mountains attracted Leonard Turzhansky: he could relate to that inimitable “Russianness” with amazing delicacy and tact, making livestock the subject of his rural sketches and even, we might say, his signature theme. The village cows, calves and shaggy large-headed horses are depicted with such warmth, tenderness and love – Turzhansky is said to have treated all these living creatures almost as human beings. And so it is in this painting, poetically titled “Late Night Grazing”: the field spreads far and wide, while against the background of darkening skies and the uneven shapes of a wooden outbuilding, the horses graze in the lush green grass. Look closer: what are the feelings that this work conveys? Rendered in bold, powerful strokes, the sky looks angry, and the colt is drawing closer to his mother. See how skillfully the artist has captured the wind playing gently with the horses’ manes and tails.