In the 1930s, when Yakov Khaimov was just beginning to develop his own style, he was lucky to find himself in a particularly creative environment—he was taught by Igor Grabar and Boris Ioganson at the Surikov Institute, and was close to the artistic circle of Aristarkh Lentulov, Vladimir Favorsky and Alexander Deineka. During the war, along with other students of the Institute, he was evacuated to Samarkand, where he worked under the direction of Sergei Gerasimov, a student of the impressionist Korovin. In the early 1930s the impressionistic approach to painting was regarded as "bourgeois" and works deviating from “thematic” painting were harshly criticized. But in the spring of 1939 in Moscow, at the State Museum of New Western Art, an extraordinary event took place—an exhibition of "French Landscapes of the 19th and 20th Centuries". The young Khaimov was deeply affected by the works of these great masters. As a representative of so-called "Soviet impressionism", Khaimov borrowed from the French their passion for plein air painting and worked on capturing subtle variations of light, colour and atmosphere. In this Khaimov, preferring landscapes, managed to preserve his identity. After World War II he was a regular participant in major art exhibitions.