He was born in Petrovka, now Dnipropetrovsk region. He studied in the cadet corps in Poltava (1906 – 1913), and later at the Academy of arts and the Higher art and industrial school in Prague. He continued his education in Berlin. He graduated from the Academy of graphic arts in Leipzig (1926). In the 1920 – 1930s he lived in Paris and Yugoslavia; in the 1930 – 1940s in Lviv, and after 1947 in the USA. In the chart used a style of folk painting and puppetry, was a follower of G. Narbut. Worked in the style of neo-primitivism, has Issued a large number of books, illustrated the works of N. Gogol, I. Kotlyarevsky, V. Stefanik, P. Kulish. Popularized Ukrainian folk customs, mythology and folklore.. In the United States worked in the field of easel and monumental painting.
The work is mentioned in the monograph by A. Fedoruk "Mykola Butovich. Life I torch St" (Staryi M. Koza, CI in new York. – 2002. – S. 284).
The series of works devoted to the Duma "About the brothers Azov" occupied the main place in the work of N. The Butovich. The master was developed during the 1920 – 1950-ies. Duma tells of the escape of the brothers from Turkish slavery from the city of Azov. For the main interpretation of the story, the author chose the climax, when the brothers saddled the horses dumped in the desert to die Hiking younger brother. The artist created a large series of various sketches, graphic and pictorial variations of this song.
This piece N. Butovich was presented at the International exhibition at the German National Museum in Munich (1947), where the works of Ukrainian artists made up more than two thirds of the exhibits and provided the incredible success of the exhibition. "The Duma about the Azov brothers" published in the exhibition catalogue "the Ukrainian malarstwo" (Munich. – 1947).