Tatlin grew up in Ukraine and, after travelling as a sea merchant through Europe and Asia, he learnt traditional wood cutting (lubok) and icon painting. He studied art in Moscow and met Larionov, becoming familiar to Rayonism. He travelled to Berlin and Paris, where he met Picasso and absorbed the principles of Cubism. From 1914 he started to experiment a more abstract style and using construction materials to create sculptural pieces. Following the Russian Revolution Tatlin adopted the principles of mass-produced factory goods to his art and established a new created the Monument to the Third International, also known as Tatlin’s Tower. He was Director of the Department for Material Culture in Petrograd and from 1920s he started to teach in various art institutions, and founded a Museum of Artistic Culture in Petrograd. Between 1929 and 1932 he also worked on the Letatlin, his flying glider. With the rise of Socialist Realism Tatlin abandoned his Constructivist style and went back to traditional figurative painting until his death.