collection
Oil painting: 120,3 cm x 135,1 cm
1953-B

Between 1926 and 1928 Gustave De Smet created several decorative works using a formal idiom that was both simple and detached. In this way he reflects the need for order and stability, the so-called ‘retour à l’ordre’, which determined the artistic climate throughout Europe after WWI. The collage-like composition with schematic figures in The Good House is reminiscent of the work of the French artist Fernand Léger, the most important representative of this trend. In this period De Smet’s use of colour is generally cooler than in his earlier and later work, where he uses more earthy colours. The works are often dominated by a limited range of colours, as we see here in the gradations of brown and whitish pink. The subject, a scene in a brothel, reflects the artist’s interest in urban themes during this period.