Gertrude Hermes



In Tate Britain

Prints and Drawings Room

View by appointment
Gertrude Hermes 1901–1983
Wood engraving on paper
Image: 190 × 128 mm
Purchased 1984

Catalogue entry

Gertrude Hermes 1901-1983

P77068 Swallows 1933

Wood engraving 190 x 128 (7 1/2 x 5) on wove paper 313 x 250 (12 3/8 x 9 7/8); printed and published by the artist; edition size not known
Inscribed ‘Swallows' (artist proof)' below image b.l. and ‘Gertrude Hermes. | 1933' below image b.r.
Purchased from the artist's daughter Judy Russell (Grant-in-Aid) 1984

P77066, P77067 and P77071 all reveal Hermes's predilection for depicting watery subject matter in her graphic work. This predilection led her to construct compositions, not all with a watery situation, that contain animals and naked human figures in strange, contorted yet rhythmic postures, seemingly unaffected by gravity. Her husband Blair Hughes-Stanton also shared this compositional approach. P77068 is a good example of this type of composition; the adult swallows fly in different directions and the wood cut gives a good flavour of the exhilaration of unfettered flight. Even the largest swallow, engaged in the act of feeding its young, is not without a great sense of movement.

Published in:
The Tate Gallery 1984-86: Illustrated Catalogue of Acquisitions Including Supplement to Catalogue of Acquisitions 1982-84, Tate Gallery, London 1988, pp.378-9


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