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Gustave De Smet (1877-1943)

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.
Gustave De Smet (1877-1943)

La vie du ferme

Details
Gustave De Smet (1877-1943) La vie du ferme signed 'Gust. De Smet' (lower right); and signed again and inscribed with title (on the stretcher) oil on canvas 89.5 x 116.5 cm. Painted in 1928.
Provenance
Galerie Le Centaure, Brussels.
Jean van Parys, Brussels.
Acquired from the above by the present owner in 1964.
Literature
Emile Langui, Gust. De Smet: de Mensch en zijn werk, Brussels, 1945, no. 52 (illustrated).
Leo Van Puyvelde, Gustave De Smet, Antwerp, 1949, no. 12 (illustrated).
Andre de Ridder, 'L'Expressionisme en Belgique' in: Les Arts Plastiques, March-May 1952, p. 355.
Piet Boyens, Gust. De Smet, Antwerp, 1989, no. 772, p. 390 (illustrated, titled 'Het leven op de hoeve').
Exhibited
Brussels, Galerie Georges Giroux, Gustave De Smet: exposition rétrospective: peintures, gouaches, dessins, 5 - 16 January 1929, no. 128.
New York, The European and American Art Committee, Contemporary Belgian painting, graphic art and sculpture, October-December 1929, no. 30.
Liège, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Salon Quadriennal de Belgique, 19 September - 19 October 1931, no. 99.
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Retrospectieve Gustave De Smet, 24 April - 31 May 1936, no. 99.
Antwerp, Feestzaal Meir, Kunst van Heden (Eresalon Gust. De Smet), 16 April - 2 May 1938, no. 47.
Paris, Musée National d'Art Moderne/Luxembourg, Musée de l'Etat, Laethem St. Martin: Colonie d'Artistes en Flandre, 16 April - 20 June 1948, no. 34.
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Gustave De Smet (1877-1943), May - June 1950, no. 40.
Maastricht, Bonnefantenmuseum, Gust. De Smet, 12 May - 3 June 1951, no. 23.
Basel, Kunsthalle, Belgische Malerei 1910-1950, 12 January - 17 February 1952, no. 86.
Venice, XXXVIe Esposizione Internazionale Biennale d'Arte, May - October 1952, no. 15.
Eindhoven, Stedelijk Van Abbemuseum, Vlaamse Expressionisten: Constant Permeke, Frits Van den Berghe, Gust. De Smet, 11 December 1954 - 16 January 1955, no. 46.
Antwerp, Museum voor Schone Kunsten, Gustave De Smet Retrospectieve Tentoonstelling, 1 July - 3 September 1961, no. 138.
Brussels, Palais des Beaux-Arts, Expressionnisme: aspects de l'expressionnisme en Flandre entre 1916 et 1930, 16 May - 23 June 1968, no. 51.
Rome, Galleria Nazionale d'Arte Moderna, Espressionisti fiamminghi: da Ensor a Permeke, 29 May - 10 July 1977, no. 68 (titled 'Vita nella fattoria').
Special Notice

Artist's Resale Right ("Droit de Suite"). Artist's Resale Right Regulations 2006 apply to this lot, the buyer agrees to pay us an amount equal to the resale royalty provided for in those Regulations, and we undertake to the buyer to pay such amount to the artist's collection agent.

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Lot Essay

After his exile during the War in Amsterdam, De Smet returned to Belgium in 1919 and settled in the picturesque village of St. Martens-Latem in 1922. During his time in Holland, De Smet came under the influence of Expressionism and Cubism. His style had changed greatly during the war years and he was now about to embark on his mature period. In the mid-1920s De Smet had found his style, which would change very little over the next twenty years. His art of Realism, which is clearly visible in La vie du ferme painted in 1928, show the characteristics typical for De Smet in this period: robust simplicity, internal vigour and obsessional motionlessness.
De Smet was able to create his own world full of the expressive quality of the hard-working Flemish farmer and his family. Extreme simplification gave his work an evocative power and force of expression of rare intensity. Although De Smet would choose numerous urban subjects in the 1920s, he kept a strong interest for the rural subject matters he found in his trusted surroundings. Since 1926 de Smet was under contract of the famous gallery Le Centaure in Brussels. The confrontation with the French painters he saw in this gallery influenced him and stimulated him to renew his style every time. In 1928 and 1929 he painted a series of impressive farm scenes like La vie du ferme for Le Centaure. These artistic innovations made the Flemish rural life, which had suffered a lot during the Great War, soft and gentle - not to say idyllic. This rustic and naive manner of painting and the charming rural setting was characteristic for the new style of De Smet.

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