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Eric HERMES (Erich Hermès)

(1881 – 1971)

Eric Hermès was born on the 18th of January 1881 in Ludwigshafen am Rhein, Germany. In 1888, his family moved to Heidelberg where they rented a house to the artist Guido Philipp Schmitt, the well-known portrait painter of the English aristocracy. Eric Hermès posed as a model and secretly began painting.
At the age of 15, his father decided to send Eric to Switzerland to start working, rather than stay in Germany and serve in the army.
Eric arrived in Lausanne in 1896 and followed an apprenticeship as a painter-decorator. This first training was crucial for his artistic career because it gave him a taste for monumental decorations, which became a very important part of his work.
On the 21st of June 1899, Eric Hermès moved to Geneva. He enrolled at the Ecole des Beaux-Arts and followed the 5-year course, where he received several distinctions and scholarships. He is naturalised as a Swiss citizen in 1902.
From 1909, Hermès completed several paintings, sculptures and bas-reliefs for many public institutions in Geneva, his work being now acknowledged. In 1911 he had his first solo exhibition at the Musée Rath in Geneva.
During the First World War, Hermès and his family moved to the Canton of Valais, in the small village of Vérossaz. He travelled a lot around the canton and painted views of the mountain pastures and portraits of farmers. Back in Geneva, he continued to create decorations and stained glass windows, particularly at the Temple of Carouge and the Temple of the Madeleine.
From 1929, he gained a reputation as a poster artist with the creation of more than 20 tourist and advertising posters. In the canton of Valais, the "Les Caves Orsat" in Martigny and the cigar manufacturer "Von der Mühll" in Sion ordered him many posters. The first president of the Tourist Union of Valais (UVT), Pierre Darbellay, commissioned him a series of posters: Winter in Valais, Zermatt, Montana… The poster "Winter in Valais" became an international success. In 1942, Hermès was awarded in the competition of the best Swiss poster of the year, organised by the "Federal Department of Home Affairs" in Bern.
The simplicity of his designs, as well as the use of bright and solid colours led him to rediscover an old italien decorative technique: the "sgraffito", which he has used to decorate many more public buildings in Geneva.
The 21st of June 1971, Eric Hermès passed away in Geneva at the age of 90 years old.
Courtesy of Mr. Yves Hermès.

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Montreux-Berner Oberland, Bahn (M.O.B.) Schweiz

1929

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Les Pléiades s/Vevey - Ecole Suisse de ski

circa 1929

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Cigares de Monthey, La partie de Jass

circa 1930

CHF 470.–

Caux sur Montreux, Suisse

circa 1930

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Leysin

circa 1930

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Montana Vermala, Vallese Svizzera

1933

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Fête cantonale valaisanne de chant, Martigny

1934

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Engrais Produits Viticoles Agricola

circa 1935

CHF 650.–

Cigares Valaisans, Von Der Mühll Sion

1935

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Montana Vermala, Valais Suisse

1935

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Nestlé Damak, Chocolat au lait aux pistaches de Damas

circa 1935

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Winter in der Schweiz

1936

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Winter in Switzerland

1936

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L'hiver en Suisse

1936

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Winter in Switzerland

1936

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Lötschental, station Goppenstein, Wallis Schweiz

1938

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Valais, Switzerland

1938

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Valais, Suisse

1938

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Valais Switzerland

1938

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Winter im Wallis, Schweiz

1938

CHF 2650.–

L'hiver en Valais, Suisse

1938

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L'Hiver en Suisse

circa 1938

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Zermatt, Valais-Suisse

1938

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Lötschental, Station Goppenstein, Wallis, Schweiz

1938

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Valais, Suisse

1938

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Zinal, Valais Suisse

1940

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Valais, Suisse (Prix de l'affiche suisse 1942)

1942

CHF 1650.–

Engrais de Martigny

1945

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Valais, Suisse

1947

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Rhone Valley, Switzerland

1947

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Lötschberg, Switzerland Schweiz Suisse

1949

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Zinal, station d'été et d'hiver,

circa 1950

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