Nechitailo was born in Nikolaevskoe, the province of Rostovon-Don. In 1931 he began his study of art at the Krasnodar Art Tekhnikum where he remained until 1935. In 1935 the artist entered into preparatory art courses at the Surikov Institute. He subsequently enrolled in the Moscow Art Institute as a full time student under the tutelage of the revered professor Gerasimov. He attended the Institute from 1937 to 1942. The artist then enrolled in their graduate program in 1942. In 1943, while still attending the Surikov, Nechitailo and 11 other academically accomplished artists were evacuated to Samarkand, Uzbekistan for the duration of the war. It looked like Moscow might fall to the Germans so the Soviet government decided to evacuate their most promising artists whom they saw as cultural assets. Nechitailo did in fact serve as a war artist during the last years of the conflict. Nechitailo completed his graduate degree in 1944 and was honoured with the opportunity to teach at the Surikov Institute from 1948 until 1956. Vasili Nechitailo began to actively exhibit in 1945.