Nadezhda Udaltsova was born in the village of Orel, Russia, on 29 December 1885. When she was six, her family moved to Moscow, where she graduated from high school and began her artistic career. In September 1905 Udaltsova enrolled in the art school run by Konstantin Yuon and Ivan Dudin, where she studied for two years and met fellow-students Vera Mukhina, Liubov Popova, and Aleksander Vesnin. In the spring of 1908 she traveled to Berlin and Dresden, and upon her return to Russia, she unsuccessfully applied for admission to the Moscow Institute of Painting, Sculpture, and Architecture. She also married Alexander Udaltsov, her first husband, in 1908. In 1910–11, Udaltsova studied at several private studios, among them Vladimir Tatlin's. In 1912–13 she and Popova traveled to Paris to continue their studies under the tutelage of Henri Le Fauconnier, Jean Metzinger and André Segonzac at Académie de La Palette. Udaltsova returned to Moscow in 1913 and worked in Vladimir Tatlin's studio together with Popova, Vesnin, and others.