Piotr Vasiliev was born into a working-class family in Saint Petersburg on 9th June, 1909. As a young man he enrolled at the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture, where he was taught by Vladimir Serov.
Vasiliev concentrated on historical paintings. After graduation, Piotr Vasiliev was sent to work for an art teacher in Chuvashia. He was a follower of Isaac Brodsky, one of the founders of the Socialist Realist art movement.
In June 1941, Piotr Vasiliev was drafted into the Red Army and took part in the Second World War and took part in the liberation of the Nazi occupation of Poland, Romania, Hungary, Czechoslovakia, and Austria.
Piotr Vasiliev died on 9th June, 1989.
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