Something fitting with the season today: Gustave Courbet, not with his (arguably most) famous self-portrait as The Desperate Man or any of his more notorious works, but with a landscape paintings: Deer Taking Shelter in Winter.
Courbet, born in 1819 in Ornans in France, bridged the gap between Romanticism and the Impressionist school of painters, that is, he went from a kinder look at and a kinder portrayal of the world to a more ‘realistic’ view, and hence, harsher paintings and a harsher lifestyle.
The above painting is from a phase when Courbet painted hunting scenes alongside ‘sensational works’, as the Wiki phrases it, which brought him both sales, from the former, and a safe place in all the gossip of Europe, from the latter.
Gustave Courbet died on the last day of 1877 in Switzerland at the age of 58.
Personally, I don’t care for the sensational stuff, but his Deer Taking Shelter in Winter I find delightful in its contrasts, both in the colors and the portrayal of the deer. A scene you just might walk into if you go out hiking these days. Don’t forget your orange vest, though, just so you’re not mistaken for a deer yourself!