Yar-Kravchenko was a prominent Soviet artist, who is best known for his graphic portraits. In 1939, he graduated from the Leningrad Institute of Art, Sculpture and Architecture. He joined the army in 1941 as a volunteer and served in the air force, as well as an illustrator for the army newspaper. He created several portraits of Joseph Stalin and over 300 portraits of famous Soviet writers. He won many state accolades, including the Stalin Prize in 1948 and the People's Artist in 1969.