Vladimir Pavlovich Krantz was born in Mozdok, Chechnya in 1913. His mother was Cossack and his father came from Nobility. His German ancestors, Von Rosen Krantz, was sent into exile to the Caucasus after the December uprising in Petersburg in 1825.
In his early years, Krantz studied with a local painter A. Turbin. After finishing the secondary school, he worked as a draftsman and was recommended to the Academy of Fine Arts in Leningrad (Petersburg). Just before his entrance exam, Krantz showed his sketches to the rector of the Academy, a prominent Soviet artist, Isaak Brodsky and met with his approval.
Unfortunately, typhoid prevented him from entering the Academy that year. He successfully passed the exams to the Architectural of the Civil Engineering Institute in 1940. After graduating, he worked as an artist-decorator and painted in oils independently.
After World War II, he returned to his work in the Painting and Design Group in Leningrad. There he perfected his art at the atelier of S. Nevelstein. While decorating the pavilion in Kiev he spent two months painting the picturesque bend of the river Dnepre. The landscapes brought from the trip were exhibited and admired by the professors of the Academy. Krantz’s landscapes received great attention and respect from the public. One of his most favorite places to paint was the ancient Russian town of Staraya Ladoga in the Petersburg Region. The pictures painted there brought great success to Krantz during his first one-man show in 1967. In 1973, he joined the Russian Artists′ Union, thus giving up the work of decorator.
Vladimir Krantz painted the modest beauty of Russian forest and seascapes in Crimea, while working at the Academic Dachas. There he got acquainted with many colleagues who enriched his paintings. Among them was a famous Soviet painter, Zogonek, who once presented Krantz his sketch with the inscription:"to the student surpassing the teacher".
The landscape of the Central and Northern Russia especially attracted the artist. He often visited the museum-estate of the Great Russian poet A. Pushkin near Pskov. Admiring the poet, Krantz presented the museum of series of 44 landscapes in different seasons.
Krantz prefers painting "ala prima", finishing his landscapes in one day. His architectural background helped the artist to build his well balanced compositions according to the principles of "Golden Sections", for example, land should occupy one third of the pictures space and sky two thirds, or vice versa. His idols were Russian artists of the 19th century: F. Vasiliev, I Levitan, and I Shiskin.
Krantz a master of the landscape, goes to find the right viewing point. He paints shades by fluid paints, and lit parts by impaso. He is distinguished for his penetrating attitude to nature, respect in showing details and brilliant rendering of mood.