One of Russia’s greatest landscape painters, Isaac Levitan (1860-1900) walked the line between realist and symbolist painting. Living as Russian Jews in the 1800s was anything but easy for the Levitan family. Out of this experience Levitan’s work took on a distinctive sorrowful quality that garnered his paintings the title of “mood landscapes.” Throughout his life he was prone to depression and tried to commit suicide twice. Levitan also had a heart illness that sapped his strength and caused shooting pain throughout his body. It is believed that the sadness he carried in his heart was reflected in his work.