Gertrude Hermes was a sculptor and printmaker born in Kent. She attended the Brook Green School of Painting and Sculpture in Hammersmith, which was founded and run by artist Leon Underwood. Hermes was key in the revival of wood engraving in the early twentieth-century at a time when wood engraving was considered a feminine craft. Also a skilled draughtsperson, her engravings featured in a number of Pengiun books and were selected for the Venice Biennale in 1940, however, the British exhibit was cancelled due to the outbreak of war. Hermes fled to Canada during the Second World War, and upon her return to London she taught engraving, printing and life drawing at various prominent institutions including Camberwell School of Art, Central Saint Martins and the Royal Academy Schools.