Damien Hirst

Monument to the Living and the Dead

About this artwork

This large butterfly diptych was made specially for the ARTIST ROOMS collection. A diptych of two pieces of wood or metal containing the names of the living and the dead has been used, so that prayers and Masses can be said for their souls. Hirst has long been obsessed with butterflies as a metaphor for mortality. They are traditional symbols of the soul. In 1991 Hirst filled a London gallery with hundreds of live tropical butterflies, some of them growing from chrysalises on monochrome canvasses hung from the wall.

Updated before 2020

see media
  • artist:
  • title:
    Monument to the Living and the Dead
  • date created:
    2006
  • materials:
    Butterflies and household gloss paint on 2 canvases
  • measurements:
    213.40 x 213.40 x 3.00 cm (framed (each): 232.30 x 232.5 x 12.00 cm; displayed overall: 232.20 x 464.50 x 12.00 cm)
  • object type:
  • credit line:
    ARTIST ROOMS National Galleries of Scotland and Tate. Acquired jointly through The d'Offay Donation with assistance from the National Heritage Memorial Fund and the Art Fund 2008
  • accession number:
    AR00045
  • gallery:
This artwork is part of Artist Rooms
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Damien Hirst

Damien Hirst