Gustave De Smet - Summer (1913)
Gustave Francis De Smet or also Gustaaf De Smet (Ghent, January 21, 1877 - Deurle, October 8, 1943) was a Flemish painter. Along with Permeke and Frits Van den Berghe he belongs to the big three of Flemish Expressionism. He often signed his work with Gust. De Smet.
They formed before and after the First World War, the second group of artists of the Latem Schools, on the Lys in Sint-Martens-Latem. Gustave De Smet was in this group, but the artist who has worked the longest Cubist influence. He was the painter of Flemish gay life, in serene strong compositions.
De Smet was born the son of a house painter and decorator and photographer Jules De Smet. Gustave had a 4 year younger brother, the impressionist Léon De Smet. Both followed the Ghent Academy. While Gustave followed irregular earlier, Léon was a brilliant student.
De Smet married in 1898 Gusta Van Hoorebeke and continued to live in Ghent. In 1908 he followed his brother Léon to Sint-Martens-Latem. There went their attention previously given to the impressionistic Luminism Emile Claus, who was staying at the nearby Astene, in his villa Sunshine. When World War I broke out, Gustave week with his family and his friend Frits Van den Berghe to the Netherlands. From 1914 to 1922 she stayed in Amsterdam, Hilversum, Laren and Blaricum. In the Netherlands he learned both German and Dutch expressionism know, the French painter Henri Le Fauconnier played a pioneering role. This marked the great turning point in his art.
In 1922 he returned to Belgium, together with Frits Van den Berghe withdraw Ostend. At Permeke As he had already spent the Sélection movement started with the Brussels art connoisseurs André de Ridder and Paul-Gustave van Hecke. After a few months he went back to his Leiestreek and in 1923 he settled in Bachte-Maria-Leerne and then in Afsnee, in order finally to settle. Deurle in 1927.
His expressionism, with its own cubist slant, had at that time reached a peak, with its circus and fairground scenes, his accordion players and his evocations of village and house, steeped in its specific coloration. At that moment was his expressive power miles away from the vision of his brother Leon.
De Smet died at age 66 in Deurle. In response to the death Permeke Smets said: “He was never small.” The Smets house is preserved as a local museum, which gives a clear picture of the environment and the studio. To file the test of time a bit, the municipality opted to restore under the direction of architect Maarten Dobbelaere the museum.