Leon de Smet

De Smet was a Flemish painter and the younger brother of painter Gustave de Smet (1877-1943), also a renowned painter. He was born in Ghent, Belgium, in 1881. He received his artistic training at the Royal Academy of Art. Together with his brother, he belonged to the so-called Sint-Martens-Latem painters, a group of artists who were active around the area of the same name. De Smet’s style is characterised by an impressionistic and pointilistic touch. He is renowned for his ability to build up a composition with swift, short brushstrokes and undertone colors while always maintaining balance. In 1914, when the First World War started, De Smet moved to Great Britain, which brought him fame and fortune. In 1917 an individual solo exhibition was organised in the Leicester Gallery in London. Three years later he returned to Belgium, where a large exhibition devoted to his work was held in the Galerie Georges Giroux in Brussels. At the age of 72, in 1953, the prestigious Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent honoured him with a large solo exhibition.


Born in Ghent, Belgium on July 20th, 1881

Died in Deurle, Belgium on September 9th, 1966

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