Pyotr Konchalovsky was born in the village of Slavianka, Izyumsky Uyezd, Kharkov Governorate (present-day Ukraine) on 21 February 1876.
His father was a translator and art publisher, with connections to many of the artists active in Russia during the late 19th century. In 1889, the Konchalovskys moved to Moscow and their house became a part of the Moscow art scene of the 1890s. Their house was often visited by Valentin Serov, Mikhail Vrubel, Vasily Surikov.
During his gymnasium years Konchalovsky attended classes of Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture.
In 1896-1898 he traveled to Paris and studied at the Académie Julian. In 1899, he returned to Russia and entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg, graduating in 1907. At the academy, he studied under Savinsky, Zaleman and Kovalevsky.
His public debut was at the Salon des Indépendants exhibition in Paris, 1908, but Konchalovsky soon returned to Moscow, bringing with him new ideas (elements of his work from this period have been identified as "Fauvist"), as well as his more respectable Salon training.
By 1909, he was exhibiting frequently, participating in the Golden Fleece, Fraternity, Mir Iskusstva, and New Society of Artists. He was a founding member of the society Knave of Diamonds in 1909, a rebellious, avant-guard group seeking to synthesize the modern art breakthroughs of French and German styles with Russian primitivism. Where Western European looked to primitive African sculptures for artistic refreshment and inspiration, these Russian painters imagined they could turn to "indigenous" Russian works. Konchalovsky was elected as the group's chairman in 1911.
After serving in the Russian army 1914–1916, Konchalovsky returned to his art with moderated intentions. Beginning in 1918 he taught art. In 1922, he had his first solo exhibition at the Tretyakov Gallery.
During that period, he mostly drew still lifes and landscapes. His paintings—as of all other Jacks of Diamond—remained strongly influenced by Paul Cézanne. But he started to paint portraits (often Ceremonial Portraits) that are considered examples of Socialist Realism style.
Pyotr married a daughter of painter Vasily Surikov, who always praised the art of his son-in-law.