Nikolai Dubovskoy could have hardly even dreamt up the career he would have as an artist. He came from an old Cossack family, and his father had decided long before that the boy was to be a soldier, so he was sent to the Vladimir Cadet Corps in Kiev, where his uncle—a colonel—was an instructor. Every day, the cadet Dubovskoy got up two hours early to have time to draw before reveille. The corps director had no choice but to recognize that the boy’s talent for military matters was mediocre, while his talent for drawing was something special. His father was recommended to send his son to the Academy of Arts. So at the age of 17 he moved to St. Petersburg and was soon accepted into Baron Mikhail Clodt’s studio of landscape painting. He was a diligent and hardworking student, winning four medals during the course of his studies, and with such promise behind him, Dubovskoy was soon a teacher, too. He was considered by his students as a deeply knowledgeable man of high morals and open and honest intentions. His fellow artists also held Dubovskoy in high esteem, earned in part for his tact and delicacy in dealing with disputes between different generations of the “Peredvizhniki” (or Wanderers) group, which he led as President until his death.