Like his friend Frits Van den Berghe, Gustave De Smet fled to the Netherlands at the outbreak of WWI. Until 1920 he lived in Laren and then Blaricum in Het Gooi, east of Amsterdam. During the last two years in the Netherlands De Smet regularly visited Amsterdam, where he rented an attic to use as a studio. Here he painted mainly female figures and still-lifes, as well as cityscapes viewed from his attic window. It was here that he painted Church with the Green Dome in Amsterdam, one of the most mature expressionistic works from this period. The dynamic interpretation of the townscape shows a strong affinity with German Expressionism and French Cubism. During his Dutch period Gustave De Smet rarely used bright colours. Instead he expressed himself in a harmony of warm autumn tones and black, applying the paint thickly in broad brush strokes.