Was born in Moscow on 7 (19) August 1858 in the family of a merchant of the believer. Brother Konstantin Korovin. Studied at the School of painting, sculpture and architecture (MUZHVZ; 1876-1886) Perov, I. M. Pryanishnikov and Savrasov. He was a member of the Union of Russian artists". Lived in Moscow.
While generally much more strict traditionalist than his younger brother, went down in history as the true successor of "realism " Peredvizhniki", although not part of their organizational partnership. However, in its own way sensitively absorbed the influences of impressionism and symbolism, being able to concentrate their images social faults and stresses the post-reform of time, expressed as the characters-the impersonations and most dramatically-oppressive atmosphere of paintings. Among his distinctive paintings - "waiting for a train" (between 1883 and 1895, the Russian Museum), "Before punishment in volost Board" (1884, Russian Museum) and the famous "In the world" (1893, Tretyakov gallery) - with the Central figures of the desperate poor and smug fist-world eater"who had argued at the village meeting. Wrote a number of purely "neveroyatnyh"genre-domestic sketches and paintings on the theme of war ("the Soldiers at the well", 1885, the Russian Museum; and others), in 1887 made the transition with the Sumy hussar regiment. To the poetics of the national-romantic art Nouveau especially close to his drawings, paintings and watercolors with images of strangers and pilgrims ("The Shrine of the venerable Sergius", about 1895-1900; on the road, 1902; both in the Tretyakov gallery).
Acted also as a coffee artist (magazines "rainbow" and "Russia", 1883-1884) and book Illustrator. The most significant unreleased cycle of his melancholy-expressive drawings to "the Overcoat" by Gogol (coal, 1901, the Tretyakov gallery). Worked as a teacher: since 1888 he taught at the Moscow school of painting.
Died Korovin in Moscow 13 (26) October 1908.