Gustave De Smet

(1877-1943)

Bend of the river Lys in Laethem

Circa 1907
Oil on canvas
50 x 60 cm (19⁵/₈ x 23⁵/₈ inches)
Signed lower right: Gustave De Smet

Signed lower right: Gustave De Smet

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Description
In 1901 Gustave de Smet moved from the nearby village of Deurle to Sint-Martens-Latem. The painters from Latem were not isolated from the impressionist current that was sweeping Belgium under the influence of Emile Claus and the new Vie et Lumière group, which first exhibited in 1905. Gustave De Smet, Frits van den Berghe and Constant Permeke all painted many works in an impressionist manner. Few of these exist today, many having been destroyed by the artists themselves, as Paul Haesaerts says:
"Certaines furent détruites par leurs auteurs, presque honteux, plus tard, s'étant tout differemment orientés, d'avoir eu la faiblesse de céder à l’impressionisme." 
Haesaerts goes on to describe Gustave De Smet's tentative exploration into impressionism and luminism before he developed his own expressive style: 
“De Smet, d’une extrême prudence qui le fait débuter par un rendu presque photographique et naturaliste des paysages et aborder en suite avec la plus grande circonspection ses recherches luministes."
 
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Bend of the river Lys in Laethem