Gertrude Hermes 1901-1983
Wood engraving 229 x 134 (9 x 5 1/4) on laid paper 409 x 267 (16 1/8 x 10 1/2); printed and published by the artist in an edition of 30
Inscribed ‘Mistletoe 27/30' below image b.l. and ‘Gertrude Hermes | 1930' below image b.r.
Purchased from the artist's daughter Judy Russell (Grant-in-Aid) 1984
In 1929 Gertrude Hermes was commissioned to engrave twenty wood blocks to illustrate a book by Irene Gosse entitled A Florilege Chosen from the Old Herbals. The book was published by the Swan Press, London in 1931. Mistletoe was plate XV, the other plants and plate numbers being I-’Anenome, Windflower or Rose Persely', II -’Arum, Cuckowpynt or Wake Robin', III -’Borage', IV -’Butter Hyorchis or Standelwurt', V -’Clematis or Travellers Joy', VI -’Convolvulus or Bindweed', VII -’Cyclamen or Sowbreed', VIII -’Dwale or Deadly Nightshade', IX -’Fritillary or Ginnynen Floure', X -’Garlic or Ramsons', XI -’Hellebore or Bear's Foot', XII -’Henbane', XIII -’Herb Paris or One Bery', XIV -’Houseleek or Sengreere', XVI -’Monkshood or Leopardesbayne', XVII - ‘Solomon's Seal or White Root', XVIII - ‘Thornapple', XIX - ‘Violet', XX -’Waterlily or Nonefar'. The Waterlily engraving is also in the collection of the Tate Gallery, see entry for P77066. A Florilege Chosen from the Old Herbals
was the third book for which Hermes provided illustrations; the two earlier ones were an edition of John Bunyan's The Pilgrim's Progress
in 1928, and T.S.Eliot's Animula
in 1929. Aside from the book the artist printed and published an edition of 30 of both P77065 and P77066.
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, p.377