Nicholas De Grandmaison was born in Russia in 1892.
De Grandmaison fought in the Russian army during World War One and spent time as a prisoner of war. Making his way to England following the war, he studied at the St. John's Wood Art School in London. Some time later he traveled to Paris and undertook further art studies there.
De Grandmaison immigrated to Canada in 1923 and settled in Banff, Alberta. Wishing to discover more about his adopted country, de Grandmaison often traveled from his home up into the mountains and in the prairies. He became friends with many of the individuals he met along his travels, they often became his subjects for his work. He was the only artist able to persuade High Eagle, the last surviving warrior of the Custer massacre, to sit for him.
His work is represented in the National Gallery of Canada and his honors include an associate membership in the Royal Canadian Academy and the Order of Canada.
De Grandmaison passed away in 1978.