Nasonov was born in St. Petersburg. His talent was clear from a young age, exhibiting work while still in school. During his military service he provided artwork for the army, using his free time to study the works of the Renaissance Masters, and French painters of the turn of the twentieth century.
In 1986, with the lifting of the Iron Curtain, Nasonov was able to freely sell his work to foreign tourists. Collectors from the USA, Canada and Europe began to purchase his paintings for their private collections, and in 1992 a Russian art dealer began to bring Nasonov's work to the United States.
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Vladimir is a self taught artist. By the age of twelve he knew that his future profession would be as an artist. The works of famous Russian painters deeply impressed hime, ad he tried to copy their work.
He paid close attention to the masters, the Italian Renaissance and France during the late 19th century. Certain features of the paintings of the French masters that he studied attracted Nasonov: radiant, full of light, clear, bright colors and joy of life.