Gertrude Hermes RA, Waterfall

Waterfall, 1967

Gertrude Hermes RA (1901 - 1983)

RA Collection: Art

Gertrude Hermes was elected an associate of the Royal Academy in 1963 (making her the first female Associate Engraver), and as a Royal Academician in 1971. Waterfall (1967), which was inspired by a visit to North Wales, was the Diploma Work she presented to the Academy. It reflects the close association with nature and the countryside evident throughout her work. It was presumably chosen as one of her most recent prints (she had made only two more since—Burning Stubble and The Whirlpool).

Hermes’ early prints were wood-engravings: she taught herself the medium while studying with Leon Underwood, and developed a highly recognisable style while working in various other media including book illustration, sculpture and weathercocks. After World War II, Hermes grew ‘heartily sick of black and white’ and began to make colour linocuts such as Waterfall, combining blocks of different colours. By the time of her election as an Academician she had essentially abandoned wood-engraving for linocuts altogether.

This impression is from the published edition of fifty and not, as in some cases, an artist’s proof. The print was published as a bookplate by the Royal Academy in 1981.

Object details

Gertrude Hermes RA (1901 - 1983)
Object type
Copyright owner
Linocut printed in black and green inks

892 mm x 630 mm

Royal Academy of Arts
Object number
Diploma Work given by Gertrude Hermes RA accepted 1971
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