As can be inferred from the subject, De Smet painted this urban panorama while he was living in the Netherlands (1914-1922). This was a period during which he developed a great interest in the problem of form and the quest for 'the essence of things'. The high, block-like canal houses and the churches of old Amsterdam are depicted leaning against one another. The street in between them, that has a few small figures in it, looks rather like a ravine. Boats are moored in the canal. The main colours of the work are orange (the sky and the water), brown (the city and the trees along the water's edge) and green (green dome). The city is a subject of special importance in German Expressionism. De Smet clearly had a tendency to 'geometrise' shapes, an interpretation to which he would no doubt have found pointers in the Cubist idiom.
SizeH: 106,7 cm
MediumOil on canvas