Since 1989 Damien Hirst has produced awe-inspiring works using the butterfly motif, among his most entrancing being ‘Mercy’ (2019). This diasec-mounted giclée print on aluminium from ‘The Aspects’ series portrays intricately placed images of butterfly wings, each in various shades of blue, to produce dreamy kaleidoscopic effects.

‘Mercy’ was inspired by a Victorian tea tray covered in intricate patterns of butterfly wings which Hirst encountered in 2001. In the present work, various sizes of single or paired butterfly wings are carefully arranged, apparently billowing out from the centre of the work in perfect symmetry. While these butterflies are not real, they have the power of convincing viewers of otherwise, their delicate Details superbly captured.

‘Mercy’ recalls the logic of stained glass windows as the wings set in a black background echoes individual pieces of glass set in place by lead cames. Their colours seem to illuminate as if lit from behind, bringing the composition to light to produce magnificent effects. Naturally, this stained glass effect was intentional as Hirst is in part attracted to the butterfly motif for its spiritual symbolism, having been used by the Greeks to depict Psyche, the soul, and in Christian imagery to signify the resurrection.




100 x 100 cm


Diasec-mounted Giclée print on aluminium composite panel

Edition Size

50 + 10 AP


Signed & numbered on the reverse


We estimate that the earliest completion date for delivery will be three weeks from the date of purchase. Timing is dependent on COVID-19 restrictions and delays.

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