Born in Moscow in 1905.
From 1913-1917, he studied at the City college, and from 1919 to 1921 at the school for young workers.
From early childhood he was interested in painting.
At first he copied paintings by I.K. Aivazovskii.
From 1922-25, he studied in the art studio established by N.M. Grigoriev, in the Kresnopresnenskii area.
From 1925-1930, he studied at the Moscow State Art School in Memory of 1905 under the tuition of M.K. Sokolov (a teacher who had a profound effect on the young artist and to whom he owes the subtlety, calmness and contemplativeness of the colouring of his early paintings), I.P. Chetverikova and others.
He was enthused by the creations of painters such as Charden, Cezanne, Rembrandt, Konstantin Korovin, Isaac Levitan.
In 1930, Matorin graduated from the art school and became a member of the Society of Moscow Artists (OMKh), in which he participated for two years. During this period, he met A.V. Lentulov, A.V. Kuprin, P.P. Konchalovskii and others. In 1932 Matorin was readily accepted into the Union of Artists. His talent was highly regarded by members such as F.S. Bogorodskii, P.P. Sokolov-Skalya, G.G. Ryazhskii, P.P. Konchalovskii, A.V. Lentulov, S.V. Gerasimov, V.N. Bashkeev, and K.F. Yuon.
From 1936-39, Matorin studied at the Moscow Institute of Fine Arts (renamed in 1948 as the V.I. Surikov State Art Institute) in a department with highly qualified artists-painters. From 1930-40 he created a large number of beautiful landscape and still life paintings, full of Russian traditional "open air" and marked with complex sweeps of colour.
During the war, Matorin was asked by the Union of Artists to oversee the evacuation of the valuables at the State Tretyakov Gallery. Starting in 1944, he taught at different art institutes in Moscow for nine years. His students include such well-known native artists as A. Tutunov, I. Shevandronova, I. Sorokin, O. Savostyuk, M. Ivanov and others. A trip to Armenia with some of his students also played an important role in the development of the contemporary landscape artist.
In the 1950's, he developed a fruitful relationship with A.V. Kuprin, with whom he traveled to the Crimea, and also became interested in 20th century Russian landscape painting, especially works by A. Ivanov, S. Schedrin and F. Vasilyev. During this time, still life painting became much more a part of Matorin's artistic work. His still lifes, based on careful observation of nature, characteristically blend a subtle transmission of soft colour with large, rich, expressive and decoratively reverberating dabs of paint. These works, outwardly simple and unpretentious by subject, are full of elevated, romantic spirit and indicate a strong joie de vivre. In his landscapes, Matorin gradually strengthened the monumental and epic width of his expression with nature motifs.
In 1989 Matorin was awarded first prize by the Union of Artists for best picture of the year.
Matorin has been working with "Les Oreades" since 1991, and has exhibited in numerous exhibitions in Moscow and abroad(France, Switzerland, Germany).
In 1995, "Les Oreades" organised a personal exhibiton of the artist's work in Moscow.
Shortly thereafter, he became a National Artist of Russia. At the end of 2000, a new personal exhibition of Matorin's work was held at the State Tretyakov Gallery.
M.A. Matorin died in Moscow in the summer of 2002.
Matorin's works can be found in museum collections in Russia (in the Tretyakov gallery, Russian Museum and others) and also in many private collections both in Russia and abroad.
In general, Mikhail Matorin's work stands out due to its openness, naive simplicity, vital persuasiveness and lyrical musicality, in which is concealed great talent and a high mastery of painting.