Arkhipov was a Russian Realist painter. He was a member of the Wanderers as well as the Union of Russian Artists.
He initially studied at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture in 1877 and subsequently studied at the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg. He soon became dissatisfied with the Academy's system of teaching and returned to Moscow, where he would later spend many years as a teacher at the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
In 1889 he joined the Wanderers (Peredvizhniki), an exhibiting society of Russian artists committed to art's potential to serve a social function. He focused his talents on depicting Russian peasant men and women of the Ryazan Gubernia and the Nizhny Novgorod region.