Nikolai Petrovich Bogdanov-Belsky, a Russian painter, was born in the village of Shitiki in Smolensk Governorate in 1868. In 1883 he attended the Semyon Rachinsky fine art school. Also during that year he studied icon-painting at Troitse-Sergiyeva Lavra. Nikolai Belsky studied modern painting at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture from 1884 to 1889, and at the Imperial Academy of Arts in St. Petersburg from 1894 to 1895. During the late 1890s, he worked and studied in private studios in Paris.
After 1921, Nikolai Belsky worked exclusively in Riga, Latvia. Here he was a member of several prominent societies, including the Perdvizhniki beginning in 1895, and the Arkhip Kuindzhi Society, of which he was a founding member and chairman from 1913 to 1918, beginning in 1909. In 1903, he became a pedagogue and academician. He was an active member of the Academy of Arts in 1914. He was also a member of the Russian Fraternitas Arctica in Riga.
Belsky’s works were mostly genre paintings, especially the education of peasant children, portraits, and impressionistic landscape studies. Nikolai Belsky combined en plein-air subject matter, color and stroke into an academic framework. He combined both rural and urban subjects in many of his paintings.
Nikolai Belsky died in 1945 in Berlin.