1877 - 1943

Gustave de Smet

description

An outstanding Belgian artist and draftsman, who created his works primarily in the styles of impressionism, including luminism, and expressionism. He worked in the genres of landscape, rural subjects, carnival and circus scenes, still life, nude, and also performed wood engravings.

Born into the family of painter J. F. de Smet. At first, he learned painting from his father, creating decorative panels, signs, frescoes for theaters, shops, hotels and country houses with his brother Leon.

Gustave de Smet was an active member of the Lateme School (the second Expressionist wave), which had a particularly powerful impact on the development of all contemporary painting in Belgium. He was also an active member of Le Groupe des IX (The Group of Nine), an influential art community in Antwerp and the Centaur group in Brussels.

Key ideas:

– Originally, the works by Gustave de Smet consisted of landscapes of the banks of the River Lees, fields and gardens. Many of them can be attributed to impressionistic – the artist sought the presence of light and air. They also demonstrated the knowledge of the theory of luminescence with its special distribution of light effects, reminiscent of French pointillism.

– Before going to the Netherlands in 1914, Gustave de Smet had the necessary prerequisites for the realization of art, aimed primarily at expressing emotion. Later, the artist began to extensively depict the elements of nature in landscapes; genre scenes borrowed from the circus world and the life of the villagers, applying rigid contours that express tension.

– By the 1920s, the time of his return to Belgium, the artist’s paintings show a tendency to the greater geometry, to a combination of contrasting colors, more often dark shades, indicating the influence of Post-cubism or Constructivism, as seen in the canvas “View of Amsterdam”.

– Herewith, the specific language of engraving by Gustav de Smith is tending towards folk art. It is obvious that the way of composition and the expressive possibilities of the line are dictated by the style of art nouveau and by Japanese engravings that were still fashionable in Europe. The search for such a consolidation of a form and a color meant for Smet a complete rejection of Impressionism and luminism. The artist’s palette also changed. In the paintings “A Man with a Bottle” (1920, private collection), he uses a minimum of the variety of gamma, but there are at least a dozen brown shades.

– In the 30s, the artist made works in pastoral themes and manner, which is conditioned his the desire to convey an atmosphere where man and nature are harmonious and acquire an eternal character. His palette offers tones and typical for the author halftone chords, as formal searches gave a way to the increased sensitivity to colors. At that time, the master tended to depict figures (“Couple in the village”) and returned to nude, without losing interest in rural characters and still lifes.

– It’s interesting to compare three paintings under the same name “Port Ostend”. The canvas, created in 1913, gives a romantic mood with its “blurriness” of the outlines of objects, and “Le port d’Ostende” made in 1922 and in 1925 are clear urban landscapes, as if a megacity grew in a fishing village in 10 years.

Gustave de Smet

On Artist

flow

Modern

Expressionism

friends

Constant Permeke

artists

Franz Marc

Augustus Macke

Fernand Leger

Jean Delville

Emil Klaus

By Artist

flow

Expressionism

description

Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: private collection.

description

Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: private collection.

description

Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: private collection.

1928

description

Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: private collection.

1927

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Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: private collection.

1925

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Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: private collection.

1931

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Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: private collection.

1917

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Mediums: oil, canvas. Location: Royal Museum of Fine Arts of Belgium, Brussels.

1916