The animal kingdom has always been a source of inspiration for Damien Hirst, and this piece, entitled “Eternal Rest”, representing a red and white butterfly against a black background, is another such example. In this print, part of his famous Butterfly's series, the artist takes all signs of life from his butterfly and has it, instead, looking like a piece from a collection in a wunderkammer.
Hirst’s butterfly etching is rendered in fine detail, appearing from a black background like encased specie in the enthusiast’s collection. The butterfly has wide significance as a symbol of love, regeneration, fortune, freedom, spirituality and death throughout its representation for many centuries in art and literature. Hirst, connecting this symbol to the Roman Catholic prayer The Eternal Rest, or Requiem Æternam, is asking for the progression of the souls to Heaven, to peace.
“They’re testament to some of my most enduring interests: the relationship between science and art, natural history, mortality and our attempts to comprehend death.„