Gustave De Smet (Ghent 1877-1944 Deurle) Landscape with church, 1930 Oil on canvas 66 x 81 cm Signed lower left: Gust. De Smet Provenance: Galerie Le Centaure, 1932, lot 76, bought by Théo Bogaerts for Mr. Nijkerk; collection M.B.B. Nijkerk, Amsterdam; collection Dr. K. Nijkerk, Amsterdam; private collection, Brussels Important literature on request.
Noteworthy is the richness of the unusual colour expression, which is anomalous in the artist's oeuvre. De Smet's cubist style from the early 1920s is clearly present. The whole gives an unexpected, almost fairy-tale atmosphere. The aesthetic qualities are the interplay of cubist elements and the surprising colour palette: a rich imagination and a successful sense of colour lead to the unusual, sophisticated tone of this painting. The provenance is M.B.B. Nijkerk (later his son Dr K. Nijkerk), a Dutch businessman who became big through his trade in metals and scrap metal and was also an avid collector of illustrated books and typography especially from the 1890-1940 era. The Stedelijk Museum in Amsterdam exhibited the Nijkerk collection. The collection was donated to the Stedelijk Museum in 1932 and in 1974. Nijkerk was a prolonged resident of Brussels. His son Dr Karel Nijkerk (1928-2007) was also a bibliophile and put together an exhibition from his father's collection in 1997.