February 9, 1875 (Yekaterinburg) — March 31, 1945 (Moscow)
Painter, graphic artist
Turzhansky was born to a family of physician. He received his primary art education at Yekaterinburg non-classical secondary school under the guidance of the artist N. M. Plyusnin (1889). In 1895 he attended the private studio of L. E. Dmitriev-Kavkazsky in St. Petersburg. At the same time Turzhansky studied at the Central School of Technical Drawing of Baron Stieglitz. In 1896–1897 he studied at the Stroganov School of Industrial Art. In 1898 he entered Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (MUZhVZ), where he continued his education under the guidance of A. M. Vasnetsov, A. S. Stepanov, then since 1904 — at the studios of K. A. Korovin and V. A. Serov. Turzhansky was awarded silver medals for his drawing and sketch from nature. In 1903 and in 1905 he made several trips to the North: Sukhona River, the Northern Dvina River, and the Kola Peninsula. In 1907 he graduated from the School with the title of the non-class (free) painter.
Turzhansky lived in Moscow. He worked as a landscape and animal painter. Since 1904 he actively participated in the exhibitions of the Union of Russian Artists; he became a member of the Union in 1910. In 1911 he joined the Society of Travelling Art Exhibitions (TPKhV) and took part in the exhibitions of the Society.
During the Civil War in 1919–1920, Turzhansky lived in Yekaterinburg, where he lectured at Yekaterinburg Art School. In 1921 he worked by the government order at stud farms in Tula and Voronezh regions. In 1920–1941 he lived in Moscow. Turzhansky participated in the First Russian Art Exhibition in the gallery Van Diemen in Berlin, and in the exhibition of the Russian Art in New York in 1924–1925. In 1927 he became one of the founders of the Association of realist painters.
In 1936 and 1941 Turzhansky’s personal exhibitions were held in Moscow.
During the Great Patriotic War, Turzhansky was evacuated; in 1941–1942 he lived in the North Caucasus (Nalchik, Dolinsk, Tbilisi), in 1942–1943 — in the village Maly Istok near Sverdlovsk, in 1943 he returned to Moscow.
In 1946 memorial exhibition of the artist’s works was held in Sverdlovsk. Retrospective exhibitions of Turzhansky’s works were organized in 1959–1961 in Moscow, Leningrad, Sverdlovsk, Yaroslavl, Kiev (together with P. I. Petrovichev), in 1965–1966 — in Minsk, in 1978 — in Moscow, in 2000 — in Yekaterinburg.
Turzhansky was one of the most significant Russian artists of the first half of the 20th century, who followed the traditions of the Russian Landscape School. Formation of his painting manner was strongly influenced by studies under Stepanov, at the studios of Serov and Korovin. Due to his teachers, Turzhansky liked to work in the open air, to paint in free manner, with fresh and rich colors. His works were filled with air and light; there was an impression of living perception of nature in his paintings.
Works by Leonid Turzhansky are in many museum collections, including the State Tretyakov Gallery, the State Russian Museum and others.