After studying in Odessa, Aleksandr Altmann arrived in Vienna in 1903, then Paris in 1909 where he was admitted to the Académie Julian. Having settled in Paris, he associated with important artists of the Fauvist and Cubist period. Some of them, including Altmann himself, fled from France when war was declared in 1914, though according to some sources he had already returned to Moscow in 1912. He met up again in Moscow with Marc Chagall and a few others including Wassily Kandinsky, who had come from Germany for the same reasons. He apparently was back in France in 1922.
Altmann painted landscapes with a preference for lakesides and river banks. He was attentive to daily and seasonal time changes, as in Snowy Effect and Lakeside in Autumn, and others.
Altmann exhibited landscapes of the environs of Paris and the French countryside at the Salon des Indépendants, the Salon des Tuileries, and the Salon d’Automne in Paris. After the war, he showed again at the Salon d’Automne in 1922.