Leopold Survage was born in Moscow in 1879. In his early years he studied piano, and was encouraged to enter the piano factory operated by his Finnish father , completing a commercial diploma in 1897. However, after a serious illness at age 22, Survage rethought his career and entered the Moscow School of Painting, Sculpture and Architecture where he attended the studios of K.A. Korovin and L.O. Pasternak.