Born in a small village in the part of the old Russian empire that is now Kharkiv Oblast in the Ukraine. His father was a professor at the local Academy of Fine Arts in Saratov. In 1922 the family moved to Petrograd and from 1928 to 1930 Savinov worked in his father’s studio while still at school. He studied painting at the Leningrad Institute, and his diploma work in 1940 was awarded first prize in the All-Union Exhibition of graduation works of Art Institutes and Colleges held in Moscow. During the ‘Great Patriotic War’ he served in the Baltic Fleet and was involved in the Defence of Leningrad. After the war he taught at the Ilya Repin Institute of Arts, then from 1949 to 1979 at the Vera Mukhina Institute, where he spent his last decade as Professor of Painting. In 1973 he was awarded the title of Honored Artist of the RSFSR. He is represented in the State Russian Museum.