Both works above are clearly part of a kind of diptych. The man in the painting on the right is Henrietje, a former model of the Academy. It concerns Henri Oscar Frans, a circus artist with the stage name Bento, to whom Achilles De Maertelaere owes his pseudonym Bentos. The woman at work on the left is Henri Bentos' wife, while in the background the Castle of the Counts is depicted.
Both works hung, certainly during World War II, in the café Bentos that Henri Bentos had kept open on the corner of the Wondelgemstraat and the Van Cleefstraat.
In 1946 Achilles Bentos made this reconstruction of a family scene with Léon Janssens, his brother-in-law and husband to his sister Sylvie.
The man in the seat is Léon Janssens, who was arrested in 1944 and died in 1945 during the Cap Arcona disaster. The standing young man is his youngest son, who also died in Germany in 1945. At the piano is the youngest daughter of Léon and Sylvie, Yvonne. Sylvie watches the whole scene.
The work on the left in the background is a Daphnis & Chloe by Bentos. The portrait on the right is not identified.
We do not know why these works have been painted.
Translated with www.DeepL.com/Translator