Vassili Arapov graduated with honors from the Ryazan Art School in 1954, having studied under I. Akinchev.
Between 1954-60 he studied at the Repin Institute in Leningrad. He then worked in an art workshop headed by Academician Boris Ioganson and Professor A. A. Mylnikov from 1960-64. During those years, Arapov took part in numerous local exhibitions in Leningrad and in republican exhibitions, and he was admitted to the Leningrad Chapter of the Russian Artists Union.
Arapov's works are found in:
· Ryazan Museum of Fine Arts
· The Scientific Research Museum of the Leningrad USSR Academy of Arts
· Museum of City History, Saint-Petersburg, Russia
· Museum of Fine Art, Petrozavodsk, Russia
His works also can be found in many private collections in the United States, England, Switzerland, and Finland.
Arapov declared "Realism is everything to me. I like art that is truthful, spiritual and passionate. Among the Russian artists, my kindred spirits are V.A. Serov, M.A. Vrubel, A.E. Arkhipov and A.S. Stepanova. Among Western artists, I admire the works of El Greco. I am completely indifferent to abstract art."
In HIDDEN TREASURES: RUSSIAN AND SOVIET IMPRESSIONISM, Art Historian and Director of the Springville Museum of Art, Dr. Vern G. Swanson, classifies Arapov as a “Working-Class Impressionist,” one division of Soviet Socialist Realism. Swanson points out that the “painterly application and direct brushwork,” as well as the lack of detail or sophistication of works like Babushka, were a “technical means of expressing working-class values.” The gestural manner of the style was “positive and accessible to the masses, [and thus,] it tended to be the most effective Soviet Realist mode.