That Nikolai Clodt became known as the 'victim of the old theatre' was no accident. All through the winters Clodt used to work hard making theatre curtains and sets, and only in the summer months could he paint pictures, virtually losing himself in his endless plein air sessions in the country, in Sokolniki, Ostankino, Losiny Ostrov or Cherkizovo. In the autumn he used to display the fruit of his summer studies, and soon after that he would immerse himself again in his theatre work. Unfortunately, however, the master was always doomed to play a secondary role. Throughout his career he never had the chance to design aproduction in its entirety, on his own - instead the posters and programmes would mention "Korovin and Clodt" or "Golovin and Clodt." At particularly difficult moments the artist even complained of 'Korovin exploiting him.' The boat for 'Corsair,' the seashore for the 'The Tale of Tsar Saltan,' the steppe for 'Prince Igor,' and the forest or clouds for 'The Maid of Pskov' – that was what was left for Clodt. In fact, Nikolai Clodt came from a well-known artistic family. His grandfather was a famous sculptor, known both in Russia and Europe, who designed the legendary horses of the Anichkov bridge in St. Petersburg, while both his uncles were painters of renown. His contemporaries regarded Clodt’s creative talent highly, and Igor Grabar remembered how the artist would endlessly roam the outskirts of Moscow with his folding easel and box of paints. In these wanderings, Grabar wrote, ‘he achieved a greatness in his brushwork and developed that particular style for which he will undoubtedly go down in the history of Russian painting.'