Visited the St. Petersburg drawing school for coming, where in 1872 engaged in engraving under the guidance of Seryakov. In 1875 he entered the Academy of arts; in 1877 – a small incentive medal; in 1878 graduated from the scientific course. In 1880, was sent, at the expense of the Grand Duke Vladimir Alexandrovich, to Paris, to Pannemaker engraver to improve the engraving. In 1884 – the title of class artist of 2 degrees. In 1899, the title of academician of engraving. Since 1893, member of the Imperial Academy of arts. Navedyvalsya engraving Department of the Academy of fine arts and Professor and head.
1856, near the city Adconion, East Prussia 1917, Petrograd the Work of V. V. Matai marks both the pinnacle and final stage in the development of Russian of engravings. Favorite and most talented student of L. A. Seryakov, to whom he bequeathed his tools, mate worked in woodcut and etching. Art education he received first at the Drawing school of the OPH (1870-75), and then in the engraving class of the St. Petersburg Academy of arts (1875-80), led by F. I. Jordan. As a pensioner of arts from 1880 to 1884, mate polished his skills in Paris at the famous fortesta of Gyara and xylographs A. Pannemaker. For my life mate have done a huge number of reproduction sheets. Only in etching them 278, and 225 of them - portraits. But the greatest success he achieved in the field of black-and-white woodcuts, masterfully imitating paintings and graphic originals. "The particular success enjoyed his facsimile of pencil drawings, a technique which he passed amazing, simulating the illusion to not only touch, but also lapping with pin and feather, character lead pencil, Italian or sanguine drawing" - wrote about the artist Igor Grabar. The very same mate about the work of the engraver creatively and not take her only to a repetition of the original. "The engraver is not boring copyist and the Creator of a new world of images, where the picture of the artist translates it into their language, gives new shades". And again: "the Engraver transfers the print copy of their individuality, which is always combined with the inspiration of the author-artist creates new work, full of life and such the delights, which will appreciate the author painting". However, the time of engravings already passed. She could not compete with photomechanical printing methods that were rapidly developing in Russia in the 1890s, the Best woodcuts mate dated to the second half of the 1880s - early 1890s It such masterpieces as the reproduction of the "Boyarina Morozova" (CA. 1887) V. I. Surikov at the photos sent mate by the painter, as well as several sheets with sketches of the painting of Ilya Repin "the Cossacks". Especially good head "Laughing Zaporozhets" (1892) that are not included in the final version of Repino picture. With 1899, mate goes with a woodcut on the technique of etching, which, in his opinion, gave great opportunities for creative interpretations of the original. His best works in this field are considered as portraits. The depth of interpretation of the images and a virtuoso performance highlighted images of M. P. Belyaev and P. M. Tretyakov (1894, with the famous portrait of Ilya Repin). It will be important for the development of printmaking in Russia and teaching mate at CUTR (1884-1909), as Professor of engraving at the Academy of arts (1894 - 1917), and finally, at the Drawing school of the OPH (1911), where he started himself. Students mate was subsequently such famous engravers as Anna Ostroumova-Lebedeva, I. N. Pavlov, P. A. Shillingovsky and others. in addition, different engraving techniques mate was taught by I. E. Repin, V. A. Serov, I. I. Levitan, B. Kustodiev, K. A. Somov, E. E. Lansere, L. Bakst, S., Juon.