The Russian landscape painter Alexey Savrasov lived in the middle of the 19th century. He was overwhelmed with grief at the loss of several of his children and he used alcohol to blunt the pain and anguish. The effects of psychoactive substances and especially alcohol have been linked closely to creativity. His life story demonstrates the bitter relationship between the bottle and the muse. He became dependent on alcohol, his family broke up and he was fired from work, his creativity declined and his health deteriorated. At death, he was a lonely and a forgotten man and only two persons attended his funeral.