Ten most creative years of his life (1875−1885) Nikolai Dmitrievich Dmitriev-Orenburg held in Paris, where most of his writings were sold and gradually lost in subsequent generations in the often capricious memory of history, the history of painting as a private case. But also from established N. D. Dmitriev-Orenburg, which came before us, speaks of him as a worthy Russian artist.
Preparing for military service young man and his roditeley knowledgeable people persuaded to enter the Academy of fine arts, where he studied with F. A. Bruni. For his drawings from life and the picturesque sketches of Nikolay Dmitriev was awarded the silver medals of the different values (in 1856 — 2 and 1 silver; in 1857 — 2 silver; in 1858 — 1 silver; in 1860 — 2 gold for the painting «Olympic games»), but in academic competitions in recent years training N. Dmitriev fails. His painting «the Grand Duchess Sophie vitovtovna pulls the belt from Prince Vasili Squint» (1861) and «Streletsky rebellion» (1862) does not cause the favorable attitude of the academic authorities. Probably not coincidentally at the young artist «does not go» historical paintings pathetic content. Because it is more interested in the lives of ordinary people. It shows a lot in these years, N. Nekrasov and Turgenev, and every summer travels to the Russian village, studying the life of peasants. As a result, the shows appear his genre paintings, the best of which — «Drowned in the village» (1867) brought him fame and the title of academician (since that time the artist begins to sign a double name, which will remain with him for life).
While living in Paris, N. D. Dmitriev-Orenburg not break with the Motherland. He travels every summer in Russian village, writes a lot of sketches. The artist was one of the organizers of the society of mutual assistance and charity Russian artists in Paris. His paintings are willing to put in the Cabin and buy.
During the war of Russia against Turkey (1877−1878) for the liberation of Balkan peoples from the Turkish yoke, the artist went to the army. His battle scenes give a positive assessment of stingy with the praise of V. V. Vereshchagin. In fact, «combat» is the main theme of his later years. Although he puts in 1880-ies and their favorite «Around the villages», «Meeting», «Peasant girl," «Sunday in the country» (unfortunately, the fate of these paintings is unknown).
N. D. Dmitriev-Orenburg open until the last hours of his life. His love for the Motherland, to the lives of ordinary people, his talent in his works.