The Virgin Mother, 2005

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Damien Hirst

The Virgin Mother

2005

Painted bronze

10232 x 4620 x 2065 mm | 403 x 181.9 x 81.3 in | Edition 1 of 3 + 1 AP

Image: Photographed by Robert McKeever © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2012

Context

‘The Virgin Mother’ is a 33-foot, thirteen-ton bronze sculpture, cast at Pangolin Editions foundry, in Gloucester. The work, which Hirst has rendered in a variety of different editions, can be considered a female version to Hirst’s monumental ‘Hymn’ (1999-2005). This first edition includes a painted anatomical cross section. The figure’s stance recalls Edgar Degas’s ‘Little Dancer of Fourteen Years’ (c.1881). Hirst explains the significance of the reference to Degas: “It is kind of naughty; she shouldn't really be pregnant. I wanted a feeling of that. Anyone who is pregnant looks old enough, that's the problem.”[1] 

‘The Virgin Mother’ is intended as an outdoor sculpture and has been installed in the courtyard of Lever House, New York, outside London’s Royal Academy, and on Fontvieille Harbour, Monaco.



[1] Damien Hirst cited in ‘Like People, Like Flies: Damien Hirst Interviewed’, Mirta D’Argenzio, ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy: Selected Works from 1989–2004’ (Electa Napoli, 2004), 216, 218