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In the early 1920s Hermes met Alan, later Sir Alan, Patrick Herbert (1890-1971), and his wife Gwendolen (1892-1988). They were to become the artist's life-long friends and patrons. Hermes executed bronze portraits of Sir Alan in 1931, and of the Herberts' son, John, in 1949. Here Lady Herbert holds a cocktail glass, complete with olive, in her right hand, and rests her left arm on a vestigial chair. The treatment of the face is naturalistic and classical while greater freedom of expression is evident in the modelling of the torso. This work is Hermes's largest bronze portrait. This is a unique cast, and is inscribed from the sculptor to the sitter.

August 2004