Vladimir Lebedev was born in St. Petersburg and graduated from the Petrovsky Commercial College. He received his initial training in art at the Titov private studio and the Franz Roubaud workshop of battle painting. In 1917-1918, Lebedev worked as a political caricaturist, with the satirical magazines Satiricon and New Satiricon, and created a host of political caricatures. In 1924-1933 Lebedev headed the Art Editorial Office at the children’s section of the state publishers Gosizdat. Throughout his life he worked as an artist on children’s books.
From 1941 to 1950, Lebedev lived in Moscow and worked with TASS Windows. He produced a significant number of outstanding portraits and still-lifes.
The boxer in the painting, Alexey Bakun, was USSR Featherweight Champion (1935), Master of Sport (1940), and 5-times Leningrad champion.