Nadezhda Leontievna Ustinova better known as Nadia Benois was born in Russia 1896. Her father, Leon Benois came from a prominent 19th Century Russian family of artists, musicians and architects. Nadia studied art at the St Petersburg Academy of Fine Arts. In 1920, Benois moved to London with her husband Jona Benois.
Nadia painted impressionistic landscapes and street scenes of France and Great Britain. She exhibited works at the Goupil Gallery, Redfern Gallery and the Beaux-Arts. The Tate Gallery acquired an oil on canvas titled ‘Near La Garde Freinet (1935). Other notable works such as ‘Kensington Gardens’ (1937) and ‘Three Women Painters’ (1975) are held at the Manchester City Gallery and Michael Parkin Gallery.
In later life, Nadia assisted her son, Peter Ustinov by formatting the screenplays and creating costumes and film sets for the films Vice Versa and Private Angelo.