Symbolism was an art movement in response to Realism and Impressionism. Poets, musicians, artists, and writers all used Symbolism to express meaning in an indirect manner. Symbolist painters wanted their pictures to depict a meaning beyond just the figures they drew. The Symbolism movement took place in the late 1800s and early 1900s. It was born in France, but there were strong movements in Russia, Belgium, and Austria as well. Symbolist painters used a wide variety of subjects including heroes, women, animals, and landscapes. They typically gave these subjects deep meanings such as love, death, sin, religion, or disease. They would use metaphors (or symbols) rather than real life to represent something.