Born in Tula in 1912 from a family of workers, Leontiev shows since his childhood a talent for drawing: this ability was immediately noticed by Nikolai Ivanovich Orechov that will take him at his studio, where he started the artistic apprenticeship. This activity will last for long, even after the end of the first cycle of school studies, at the same time of the employment in the factory.
In 1932, Leontiev decides to quit his job in order to dedicate himself full-time to the art studies. He is accepted to the Artists Academy of Leningrad where he will spend years of fruitful work and deep study; already in the forties he will be featured in several exhibitions. He obtained many awards till be proposed for the Stalin Prize, title of remarkable recognition reserved normally to a student every three academic years. After the years of World War II that saw the artist forced to suspend his studies to join the conflict in 1947 in Leningrad, Leontiev graduated from the Academy achieving the title of Painter. In the hard period at the end of the forties, Leont’ev moved to Tula where he works on commission for national museums and cultural associations. These were years of great satisfaction crowned, in 1950, from the entrance in the Association of Artists of the USSR. In the following years he participates to numerous exhibitions. Despite that the excessive quietness and the poors triumphant tones of his work led him to a slow isolation. Leon’tev died in 1973 in a state of disgrace and almost forgotten. Today his works can be seen in various Sovietic Cuture’s Palaces, in Tula, his hometown and in various cities of the region as well as the important Blokad Museum of St. Petersburg.