《Deer Running in the Snow》
c. 1856-57 Oil on canvas
Courbet, a French Realist, was widely criticized for his narrative (history)paintings of the lives of the common people and laborers. His hunting scenes were, however, very popular and well received. His favorite animal was the deer, which he depicted not only in hunting scenes but also fighting in the woods or standing peacefully. In this painting, a stag with magnificent antlers is racing across the white snowfield. Its head is turned to the left. The dark clouds stretching from the right, veiling the blue sky, give this work its gloomy atmosphere. Courbet used a palette knife to express the rough feel of the snow.