H9-2 Courage is a laminated giclée print on aluminium composite panel made by the iconic contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. Produced in 2021, this is an exciting, new project made by the artist against the backdrop of the Covid-19 lockdown. H9-2 Courage shows an upright cherry blossom tree, flourishing against a pale blue backdrop. Pastel colours dominate the composition with the print’s light pinks and blues exuding a sense of Spring. The explosion of blossoms occupies the centre of the print, making the flowers the focal point of the work.
H9-2 Courage is one of eight prints that compose the H9 The Virtues series. The entire series is dedicated to the cherry blossom tree. Hirst draws the inspiration for the series from his childhood. He remembers fondly how he used to watch his mother painting the cherry blossom tree, as well as being enchanted by a blossoming tree that he gazed at from his bedroom window in Devon. While all the prints in the series depict the cherry blossoms, they each have a unique composition and are marked apart by their names, each of which refers to one of ‘The Eight Virtues of Bushidō’ according to Nitobe Inazō -Justice, Courage, Mercy, Politeness, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty, and Control.
When looked at closely, it becomes apparent that the blossoms in H9-2 Courage are composed of tiny spots. The influences of Impressionism and Pointillism shine through in this print in which Hirst combines thick brushstrokes with intricate spots and delicate gestural lines.