She was born in the family of a Greek teacher of the Taganrog gymnasium Nikolay Fedorovich Agapiev, a close friend of A.P. Chekhov. She graduated from the Tiflis Art College (1904-1906), where she studied with O. I. Schmerling and N. I. Kandaurov, the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture (1907-1911) - studied with A. E. Arkhipov, N. A. Kasatkina. She studied at the studios of K.F. Yuon and I.I. Mashkov in Moscow.
Member of many exhibitions since 1907. Founding member of the society of artists "Moscow Salon" (1910-1917).
Member of the companies:
Leonardo da Vinci Society
Union of Russian Artists (CPX)
Art for Socialist Construction (ISSTR)
During the Civil War, N. Agapyeva carried out orders for supplying fronts with posters, slogans, cliches, and took an active part in organizing the Moscow State Repository of Works of Art.
Presented her works at the 1st and 2nd exhibition of paintings of the professional union of artists (both - 1918), the exhibition of paintings, sculpture and the art industry in Ryazan (1918), the 1st exhibition of the Moscow repository of works of modern art (1919), 20- the 1st exhibition of the Fine Arts Department of the People's Commissariat of Education (1920-1921), the 1st state traveling exhibition of paintings (Moscow - Saratov - Stalingrad - Kazan - Nizhny Novgorod, 1925), the exhibitions "Russian drawing for 10 years of the October Revolution" (1927), "Soviet drawing "In Kuibyshev (1929), an exhibition of drawings in Perm (1930), exhibition Avke Association "Art - Socialist Construction" in Moscow (1932) and others.
Paintings by N. Agapieva are in many museums, including the Tretyakov Gallery.
Brother - Boris Nikolaevich Agapiev, surgeon, after 1918 he lived in Persia, then in Belgium.
The ashes of Natalia Nikolaevna are buried in the columbarium of the Novodevichy Convent.
In 1918, N. Agapieva with her husband, artist Ivan Ivanovich Zakharov (1885-1969), took an active part in the decoration of Moscow to celebrate the first anniversary of the October Revolution. It was a painting of a huge panel adorning the building of the Metropol Hotel, decoration of stalls, and costume designs for the national carnival.
A participant in most of the exhibitions of the 1920-1940s, N. Agapyeva performed many interesting portraits of writers, scientists, military commanders; left a series of drawings devoted to children, portraits of L. N. Tolstoy, A. P. Chekhov, V. O. Klyuchevsky, O. S. Chernyshevskaya, sketches for the film “Karl Marx and his family”. Her portraits of Soviet statesmen are interesting - K. E. Voroshilova, S. Ordzhonikidze, M. I. Kalinina. Modest, without effects, portraits reveal different characters sincerely and simply. A clear pencil drawing is softened by gentle overflows of watercolors, now completely transparent, then dense and dense. About 500 drawings have been preserved.
The last exhibition of N. Agapieva, after her death, took place in December 1970 at the Central House of Writers. The famous art historian A. A. Sidorov said at the opening: "A chamber artist ... but she was given during her modest life to create a number of works of undoubted beauty and substantial truth."
The archives have preserved letters to N. Agapieva, Yu. A. Zavadsky, V. D. Polenov and other famous cultural figures.