A contemporary actor of Kalmakoff's time named, Mgebrov, recounted a rather peculiar encounter with the talented, but, deranged, devil-obsessed painter:
One day, while I was visiting him, he whispered to me mysteriously that, for some time now, he'd been painting the devil. 'I have all the sketches upstairs' he said with a strange glint in his eye. 'I stay awake late into the night and keep watch for him. I've caught a glimpse of his eyes... his tail... even his hooves... but I haven't yet seen him entirely. Still, I've made hundreds of sketches - do you want to see them?' And, in fact, in the dusty attic of his bizarre little home he showed me a fascinating and frightening variety of sketches portraying the devil's eyes, tail and hooves. He was absolutely certain that these were things he'd seen.