Nathan Altman was born in 1889 on 22 of December in Vinnytsia, a town situated by the time in the Russian Empire, now in Ukraine. He came from a poor Jewish family – his father was a small merchant, and mother worked as laundrywoman in a hospital.
Nathan lost his father at the age of four when the latter died of tuberculosis. The artist’s mother fled the country hiding from the pogroms of Jews. So, Altman was raised by his grandmother.