The son of a wealthy landowner, Nikolai Dmitriyevich Kuznetzov was born in 1850 in what is now the province of Kherson. He attended school in Odessa before going to Saint-Petersburg where he perfected his skills at the Imperial Academy of Arts for four years until 1880.
After graduating, he became famous and exhibited in Russia and Ukraine. A talented portrait painter recognized for the realistic quality of his genre scenes, he received numerous commissions from celebrities of the time, such as the lyrical bass Fyodor Chaliapine.
Following an accident in 1889 which forced him to use crutches, Nikolai Kuznetzov painted exclusively in the studio and he moved to Odessa in 1893. After a two-year break during which he returned to Saint Petersburg to teach scene painting battle at the Imperial Academy, he returned to Odessa where he became an academician in 1900, the year he also exhibited at the Universal Exhibition in Paris.
He traveled extensively until 1920, when his sympathies for white Russians forced him to emigrate with his family to Yugoslavia, to Sarajevo, where he died in 1929.
In his art history lectures, Fabrice Roy combines the past with the present, in a poetic and playful evocation of the French 19th century...