Leon De Smet was born in Belgium in 1881. He received training at the Academy Des Beaux Arts. In 1914, when the First World War started, De Smet moved to Great Britain. There he became a successful portrait painter and really began to build his reputation as an artist. After the war, when he returned home, he was given many exhibitions of his work.
Leon De Smet joined the expressionist group in Laethem for a short time, but always painted in an impressionistic and Pointillist style. Subjects he enjoyed painting were landscapes, still life and figures. He is known for his characteristic build up of a composition using rapid, short brushstrokes. He used undertone colors to maintaining balance. At the age of 72, he had a solo exhibition at the prestigious Museum of Fine Arts in Ghent.
In 1926 Leon De Smet moved to Devrle where he died in 1966.