Dmitrii Stelletskii was a gifted sculptor, painter, theater designer, and illustrator. After studying at the Academy of Art in St. Petersburg, Stelletskii continued to work in St. Petersburg, exhibiting with the World of Art and other groups, as well as illustrating books of Russian historic epics and legends. He studied in Paris at the Acadimie Julian in 1904 and was represented in the Russian art section at the Salon d'Automne in 1906. In 1914 he emigrated to France where he collaborated with Diagilev. While in Paris he was commissioned to decorate churches and he also continued with his painting. Among his most important projects were the decoration of the interior of the Church of St. Sergious in Paris, the interior decoration for the traveling church of the Society "Vitiazi", and large icons for the Russian Orthodox Churches in Paris, Marseilles, Bulgaria, and Yugoslavia. S. Makovskii wrote about Stelletskii's decoration in the St. Sergious church in Paris: 'Over forty years of artistic creativity this painting is the most important phenomenon. Stelletskii remained an individual His fantasy is expressed in color, with emerald tones, with reds, sapphire and violet tones and with unexpected movements of his figures.'
Early in his career Stelletskii became fascinated with the iconographic tradition of Russia. During his frequent trips to the historic cities and monasteries the artist studied traditional fresco paintings and icon painting, and learned about medieval Russian miniatures. In many of his paintings, Stelletskii attempted to adapt the Russo-Byzantine tradition to modern pictorial demands. In its composition, bold colors, and strong liniar rhythm the artist paid tribute to the centuries-old tradition of the icon painting.