Born in Béjar, near Salamanca in Spain, the son of a granite builder/architect, Matéo HERNANDEZ (1885-1949) worked the stone from an early age under the aegis of his father.
At the age of 7, he started to show an intrinsic interest in sculpting by carving small animal motifs on rocks.
After completing his studies at the Madrid School of Fine Arts in 1908, he settled in France in 1913, exhibiting his works in the Parisian salons.
He regularly frequented the Jardin des Plantes, it was here where he would find the inspiration to sculpt his animals from a direct-stone cut of granite.

In 1925, Hernandez took part in the famous exhibition of ‘Les Arts Décoratifs’ in Paris, showcasing his “Java’s Panther” (it’s now located at the Museum of Modern Art in New York) for which it obtained the grand prize for sculpture.
Hernandez was thus well known all over Europe and his name came up frequently under the pen of critics who praised his technical mastery of cutting hard stones like granite, diorite or porphyry.
In 1928, he settled down at Meudon in Paris, here he created a menagerie in order to carefully study his favourite subjects in solitude.

Hernandez throughout his life participated in numerous Parisian exhibitions, most notably The Contemporary Spanish Art exhibition of 1936 where he presented his “Group of Chimpanzees” in black granite.
The same sculpture will be displayed again in 1937 at the exhibition of ‘The Masters of Independent Art’, the exhibition would last from June to October and was presented at the ‘Petit Palais’ in Paris.
The following year, Hernandez displayed a new life size “Chimpanzee” in black granite at the Tuileries Salon.

Several of his artworks are currently kept in France’s public collections, in particular a “Lying Deer” sculpted in diorite can be viewed at the ‘La Piscine’ museum in Roubaix and a standing “Marabout“ in black granite can be appreciated at the Fine Arts museum of Cambrai.

Hernandez’s works are still very present within the public collections of the great Spanish museums. His works are rare and highly in demand by the most prestigious collectors.