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Gertrude Hermes OBE RA

(Bickley, Kent 1901-1983 Bristol)

Serpent at the nest, 1931


Edition 19/30

21 x 13.5 cm.

in a period frame


Blond Fine Art, London, October 1988;

Private collection, UK.

Hermes was of German extraction but grew up in Kent. She studied at Beckenham School of Art in 1921, and in 1922 enrolled at Leon Underwood’s Brook Green School of Painting and Sculpture, where other students included Eileen Agar, Henry Moore and Blair Hughes-Stanton who she would go on to marry (and divorce). Underwood influenced her love of wood-engraving and sculpting, and it was to these forms that she would dedicate her art. 

She was a member of the English Wood Engraving Society (1925–31) and exhibited with the Society of Wood Engravers, the Royal Academy and The London Group on the 1930s. Hermes enjoyed the process of mark-making and carving in wood engraving, having real connection to the practice of sculpture Hermes produced a commission for the British Pavilion at the Paris World Fair in 1937, and showed at the Venice International Exhibition in 1939. She lived and worked in the US and Canada from 1940 to 1945 and on her return to England taught wood engraving and lino-cutting at the Central School of Art, and later at the Royal Academy Schools.

Tragically she suffered a severe stroke in 1969 that left her unable to work for the rest of her life.

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