Konstantin was born in Moscow as the older son of a Russian art figure and amateur painter, Yegor Ivanovich Makovsky.
His mother was a music composer, and hoped her son would one day follow in her footsteps.
In 1851 Konstantin entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where he became the top student, easily getting all the available awards.
In 1858 Makovsky entered the Imperial Academy of Arts in Saint Petersburg.
Makovsky became a victim of a road accident (his horse-driven carriage was hit by an electric tram) and died in 1915 in Saint Petersburg.