Gustave Courbet had frequently represented stags in monumental landscapes in his earlier works that featured the gorges of Ornans as a backdrop. With Stag in a Landscape he returns to this subject while painting in exile in Switzerland. This collaboration depicts a lone stag standing in the shade beside a cool stream. Towering above the stag are rock cliffs that fence him in and which are illuminated by the hint of sky. The stag stands at ease and is one with his environs, blending with the rocks around him. This is a private enclave in nature, secure from the intrusion of man.