Gustave De Smet


Potato harvest

Circa 1930
Oil on paper on panel
47 x 62 cm (18¹/₂ x 24³/₈ inches)
Framed: 61 x 79.5 cm
Signed lower left: Gust. De Smet

Signed lower left: Gust. De Smet

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- Haesaerts, P. L'Ecole de Laethem-St-Martin (Bruxelles: Editions Formes, 1945), pl. 63, no. 1 (vgl. ill. 'Le travail aux champs'). 
​- D'Haese, Jan, Aspekten van het Vlaams Expressionisme, (Marke: Kunstkring Joost De Clercq, 1977), p. 20, no. 27 (vgl. De aardappelrooiers, 118x135cm) (ill.).
- Pauwels, P.J.H., Als een fonkelenden spiegel (Sint-Martens-Latem: Galerie Oscar De Vos, 2019), 235 (ill.).
Around 1929, Gustave De Smet was searching for new dimensions. He made a transition to a styl which consist of a more gentle form of what he did before. Colour became more important for the artist without neclecting the form. His paintings became more delicate. He was longing for openness, he stopped with the composition of clear planes although he never lost the contemplated composition; the influences of kubism and expressionism are till visible.
At this periode, De Smet found his subjects in the rural life. 'Potato harvest' is a typical example. The farm in 'potato harvest' is probably situated in or near Deurle, the new hometown of the artist.
In this painting his new interest in colours are clearly visible. He used a broad palette of earth tones; the reds, yellows, greens, blues and browns are dominant, giving the painting a warm blaze. Although Gustave De Smet changed his harsh and angular style into a milder form, this painting didn't lose the strong expressions. The form of the figures ad the labour follow the earth curves; all together comes as a whole. 'Potato harvest' has a very strong radiance which makes it an exquisite painting.
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Potato harvest