Ο [[Κωνσταντίν Μακόφσκι]] γεννήθηκε στη Μόσχα το []. Ο πατέρας του ήταν σκιτσογράφος και ερασιτέχνης ζωγράφος, λεγόταν Yegor Ivanovich Makovsky. Η μητέρα του ήταν συνθέτης μουσικής, και ήλπιζε το παιδί να ακολουθήσει τα βήματά της.
In 1851 Makovsky entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where he became the top student, easily getting all the available awards. His teachers were [[Karl Bryullov]] and [[Vasily Tropinin]]. Makovsky's inclinations to [[Romanticism]] and decorative effects can be explained by the influence of Bryullov.
In 1858 Makovsky entered the [[Imperial Academy of Arts]] in [[Saint Petersburg]]. From 1860 he participated in the Academy's exhibitions with paintings such as ''Curing of the Blind'' (1860) and ''Agents of the [[False Dmitriy I|False Dmitry]] kill the son of [[Boris Godunov]]'' (1862). In 1863 Makovsky and thirteen other students held a protest against the Academy's setting of topics from [[Norse mythology|Scandinavian mythology]] in the competition for the ''Large Gold Medal of Academia''; all left the academy without a formal diploma.<ref name=Blouin/>
Makovsky became a member of a co-operative (artel) of artists led by [[Ivan Kramskoi]], typically producing [[Peredvizhniki|Wanderers]] paintings on everyday life (''Widow'' 1865, ''Herring-seller'' 1867, etc.). From 1870 he was a founding member of the ''Society for Traveling Art Exhibitions'' and continued to work on paintings devoted to everyday life. He exhibited his works at both the Academia exhibitions and the Traveling Art Exhibitions of the Wanderers.