He studied at the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture (MUZHVZ) in the 1870-ies. Among his teachers were V. G. Perov. There is no doubt that the painter was well acquainted with a wonderful Russian landscape painter, teacher of school and human drama of fate, A. K. Savrasovym.
The artist wrote of household composition and landscapes: "the Bells were going," "Chichikov at Elijah," "the watering place", "Evening in the village". Apparently, he made a trip to the Holy land, is known for his paintings of "Cedroni flow. Jerusalem" and "Tomb of Joachim and Anna. Jerusalem." Two portraits by I. P. Volkov wrote a famous Patriotic painter of S. A. Korovin. One of them - "portrait of the artist working in the blouse" - is kept in the Tretyakov gallery.