Damien Hirst - Evening & Day Editions London Thursday, June 6, 2024 | Phillips
  • “Cherry Blossoms are about beauty and life and death. They’re extreme – there’s something hopeful yet hopeless about them. They’re art but taken from nature....Blossoms are optimistic and bright yet fragile, just like we are.”
    —Damien Hirst

    Damien Hirst's eight-part series, titled The Virtues, is inspired by Bushidō, the Japanese samurai code of ethics. In 1900, Nitobe Inazō published a book entitled Bushidō: The Soul of Japan, aiming to explain the practice of Bushidō to Western audiences. According to Nitobe, Bushidō literally translates to “Military-Knight-Ways" and it outlines the expected conduct of Japanese nobles in their daily lives. The Eight Virtues of Bushidō are Justice, Courage, Mercy, Politeness, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty, and Control. Together, they comprise a code of behavior, which has influenced customs like the tea ceremony and fostered attitudes such as tranquility in the face of danger. Hirst’s series, which uses painterly dots to depict cherry blossoms, is made up of eight parts that are individually titled to align with the eight virtues. Whilst laden with art historical reference, from Van Gogh to Abstract Expressionism, Hirst’s Virtues fundamentally maintains the serenity of Japanese cherry blossoms and the sincerity of Bushidō.


    Left: Front cover of Bushido: The Soul of Japan (Philadelphia: Leeds & Biddle, 1900) by Inazō Nitobe (1862-1933). English language version. Image: Houghton Library, Harvard University, 92.40.10 
    Right: Attributed to Katsushika Hokusai, Cherry Blossoms, Edo period, Harvard Art Museums, Massachusetts. Image: © President and Fellows of Harvard College

    Published by HENI, London, in 2021, Damien Hirst’s Virtues were available to purchase for a limited time and the edition size of each individual artwork was determined by the demand during that window. This was the first time that HENI adopted this innovative way of releasing an edition and, following its success, it has become a popular approach to dropping new artworks. For instance, HENI’s recent publication of Damien Hirst’s Where the Land Meets the Sea, which was exhibited at Phillips’ Berkely Square gallery 20 July – 18 August 2023, was released in this way.

    • Literature

      HENI Editions H9

    • Catalogue Essay

      Including Justice; Courage; Mercy; Politeness; Honesty; Honour; Loyalty; and Control.

    • Artist Biography

      Damien Hirst

      British • 1965

      There is no other contemporary artist as maverick to the art market as Damien Hirst. Foremost among the Young British Artists (YBAs), a group of provocative artists who graduated from Goldsmiths, University of London in the late 1980s, Hirst ascended to stardom by making objects that shocked and appalled, and that possessed conceptual depth in both profound and prankish ways.

      Regarded as Britain's most notorious living artist, Hirst has studded human skulls in diamonds and submerged sharks, sheep and other dead animals in custom vitrines of formaldehyde. In tandem with Cheyenne Westphal, now Chairman of Phillips, Hirst controversially staged an entire exhibition directly for auction with 2008's "Beautiful Inside My Head Forever," which collectively totalled £111 million ($198 million).

      Hirst remains genre-defying and creates everything from sculpture, prints, works on paper and paintings to installation and objects. Another of his most celebrated series, the 'Pill Cabinets' present rows of intricate pills, cast individually in metal, plaster and resin, in sterilized glass and steel containers; Phillips New York showed the largest of these pieces ever exhibited in the United States, The Void, 2000, in May 2017.

      View More Works


The Virtues (H9)

The complete series of eight laminated giclée prints in colours, flush-mounted to aluminium with metal strainers on the reverse (as issued).
all 120 x 96 cm (47 1/4 x 37 3/4 in.)
All signed in pencil and numbered 320 (printed) on the labels affixed to the reverse, from the editions of varying sizes, published by HENI Editions, London, all framed, lacking the original HENI cardboard boxes.

Full Cataloguing

£60,000 - 80,000 ‡♠

Sold for £101,600

Contact Specialist

+44 20 7318 4024

Rebecca Tooby-Desmond
Specialist, Head of Sale, Editions

Robert Kennan
Head of Editions, Europe

Anne Schneider-Wilson
Senior International Specialist, Editions

Louisa Earl
Associate Specialist, Editions

Evening & Day Editions

London Auction 6 - 7 June 2024