He studied in the Studio of N.. Martynov, 1883, MOJSA (1885-1889), Cholet Studio R. Julien, Paris (1889-1894).
M. V. Yakunchikova belonged to the old Moscow merchant family. In 1885, the future artist entered the Moscow school of painting, but in 1889 withdrew from it because of illness. In the same year Yakunchikova went to France and remained there until the end of his short life, only occasionally coming to Russia. In Paris she continued her studies at a private Academy R. Julian; 1894 left the Academy, he rented a workshop and began to work independently, exhibiting his works at the Paris Salon. In the 1890s, she created mood-pictures depicting the world of the old mansions of the "Window in Morave" (1894), "Covers", "window of the old house. Vvedenskoe" (both 1897). Her name was called among the names of the best Russian artists of those years. The members of the Association "World of art" Yakunchikova invited to participate in exhibitions and in their journals. Almost six months have graced editions of the magazine for 1899 created yakunchikovoy cover. In addition to painting, she tried her hand at majolica and graphics. Colored etchings by the artist, similar to the modern style, were praised by the English magazine "The Studio", had an influence on the works of A. P. Ostroumova-Lebedeva. Attracted Yakunchikova and crafts. Since 1895 she executed decorative panels in a special technique that combines burning wood and oil painting. As her closest friend E. D. Polenov, Yakunchikova fond of folk art, collected his samples. Folk, "the neo-Russian" motives heard in her mural "Town" (1896). Based on the sketches yakunchikovoy carved shelf for toys and embroidered picture "Girl and the devil" was shown at the world exhibition 1900 in Paris, where he was awarded a silver medal. These last works were performed in the workshops of Abramtsevo, where the artist herself led them to the manufacturer. Yakunchikova died in the town of Saint-Buzheri near Geneva from aggravated tuberculosis. In Saint-buzheri, the heirs of the artist, kept many of her works.