Fedor Zakharov was born in 1882 in Astrakhan, a major city located on the shore of the Caspian Sea at the mouth of the Volga.
During the period 1910-16 Zakharov studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture. He began to exhibit in 1911 and quickly established himself as a versatile painter of landscapes, still lifes and portraits.
As an exhibitor and member of the committee organising The Russian Art Exhibition planned for New York City in 1924, Zakharov travelled to the USA and subsequently settled in New York where he opened his studio on Central Park South in 1932. He joined a number of artists who left Russia following the upheavals caused by the revolutions and consequent Civil War. These artists received greater exposure abroad and some, like Zakharov, found considerable success. Zakharov's distinctive portraiture, often incorporating Renaissance landscapes, proved to be extremely popular amongst fashionable high society in New York and he received a number of important commissions including that of the former US Ambassador to China, the collector Charles Crane, and Mrs Woodrow Wilson.
Zakharov exhibited widely, holding solo exhibitions in Philadelphia (1924), Paris (1933) and New York (1934), and contributed to the International Exhibition of Modern Art held at the Carnegie Institute in Pittsburgh in 1925. He received critical acclaim for his canvases 'Reverie' and 'Ballerina' which received the Walter Lippincott award at the 123rd exhibition of the Pennsylvania Academy in 1928 and the popular prize in the Corcoran Gallery's 15th Biennial Exhibition in Washington in 1937 respectively. As a measure of his international success, today Zakharov's work is represented in the State Russian Museum, St Petersburg, The Tretyakov Gallery, Moscow, The Detroit Institute of Art, The White House collection in Washington and the Smithsonian Museum of American Art, to whom he left his archives after his death in 1968.
A larger composition depicting a football match, painted circa 1912, was exhibited in New York at the Russian Art Exhibition in 1924 and entitled 'Football'.