Nikolai was a Russian realist painter, born on August 12, 1912 close to Rostov-on-Don, Russian Empire. He enrolled in the Rostov Art College in 1927 which was headed by A. Chinenov at the time. After Timkov graduated he moved to Moscow and met up with several other artists of the Association of Artists of the Revolution. In 1933 Timkov joined the Leningrad Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture of the All-Russian Academy of Arts. After graduating from the painting department he was enlisted for military service for seven years. His art was displayed in several exhibitions throughout his lifetime and he was also awarded many titles and honors. He has worked in a variety of manner such as landscape, genre, and on plein air; his style has been described as impressionistic decorative.