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Gertrude Hermes

1901 - 1983

The Avocets by Gertrude Hermes

The Avocets   1948

  Original wood engraving and linocut printed in two colours.
Signed and inscribed in pencil.
Ref: Russell 102
S 534 x 411 mm; I (diameter) 349 mm
Original Gertrude Hermes wood engraving and linocut printed in two colours.

Excellent impression printed for the first edition, with strong yellow-green background, but numbered for release with the second edition. One of only 30 signed proofs printed in the year that the engraving was completed, 1948. Scarce in this form.

This is a first edition proof which the artist has numbered and used in the second edition. This early proof can easily be distinguished as a first edition printing – in both the second edition printing of 1952 (35 impressions) and the final edition of 1970 (30 impressions) the background of the image was not in colour, but was printed instead using buff-grey ink.

The Avocets was one of the first of Gertrude Hermes’ wood engravings designed to be printed in combination with a colour linocut block to introduce a colour background. The sole original print which Gertrude Hermes produced in the year 1948, it was engraved on a circular block which the artist had used twice before (for Autumn Fruits and One Person) and which she had re-surfaced for this engraving. Sometimes known under the title Welcome to the Avocets, this image was inspired by the return of a large group of these birds to their natural haunts in East Anglia after many years of absence.

On fine simile Japan paper, with full margins and deckle edge. Faint time tone in outer margins, otherwise very fine original condition.