Gertrude Hermes was born in Bickley, Kent. She studied at the Leon Underwood School of Painting and Sculpture where she met her husband, Blair Hughes-Stanton, and like him began engraving. During their brief marriage they worked at the Gregynog Press in Wales. She occasionally taught engraving at St Martin’s School of Art, Central School of Art and Design and the Royal College of Art, London. Her vision was austere, of what has been called ‘benign severity’. She never compromised it. In a series of major engravings made over 20 years between 1933 and 1953, she married modernist language to the apprehension of psychological depth with a thematic consistency. In the late 1930s her sculptural work was shown at British Pavilions at International Exhibitions and World Fairs, and her engravings were selected for the Venice Biennale in 1940, but as Britain did not exhibit that year, the exhibition was instead shown at the Wallace Collection, London .