He studied at the Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture under A. K. Savrasov (1875-83). Member of the Association of the Wanderers (from 1891). Continuing the tradition of Russian and Ukrainian realistic landscape, Pp. wrote lyrical types (mostly countryside), often enriching their genre or animalistic scenes and developing problem lighting with a love for subtle coloristic effects ("the spring", 1887, Tretyakov gallery, "Evening in steppe", 1905, Museum of Ukrainian fine arts of the Ukrainian SSR, Kiev). Was also drawn to the urban landscape ("Moscow. Basil", 1893, ibid.).
Arrived from Kiev to Moscow school of painting, sculpture and architecture Sergey Svetoslavsky so successfully passed the course (1874-1882) A. K. Savrasov, V. G. Perov, V. D. Polenov, his first independent work From the window of the Moscow school of painting (1878) pleased not only their teachers but also by the great connoisseur and collector of Russian art Pavel Tretyakov, who acquired the painting for his collection.
The picture was both essential for S. Swietoslawski — it marked the beginning of a cycle of paintings, written as if from the window of a building in Moscow and Kiev: "Yard" (1884), "postoyaliy Dvor in Moscow" (1892). The artist does not want to show the front views of big cities — on the contrary, its courtyards deliberately ordinary, often carry a sense of compassion for the human disorder, of city life. S. I. Svetoslavsky made the long trip to Ukraine, the Caucasus, visited Central Asia, creating the results of the travel pattern, supporting the originality of the suburbs of the Russian Empire. Unfortunately, the eye disease has imposed since the beginning of 1920-ies, the taboo on the work of the artist.