A pupil of Lentulov and Gerasimov, he began by producing works depicting people, portraits of women and Muscovite landscapes. In 1948, he joined the Union of Russian Painters. He travelled, produced many portraits and gave his first exhibitions. From the fifties, he began exhibiting abroad too: France, America and Italy. By the eighties and nineties, Lyssenko was an established artist and very well-known in Europe and the United States. He continued producing works of art in his dacia near Moscow until the age of eighty-four, teaching other painters, pupils and members of his family, some of whom were also established painters.