H9-4 Politeness is a laminated giclée print on aluminium composite panel by the innovative contemporary artist, Damien Hirst. In Hirst’s take on a floral landscape, he renders a cherry blossom tree in various shades of pink against a light blue backdrop. The vibrant, pastel colours evoke the season of Spring, bringing a cheerful and upbeat tone to the print. The cherry blossom tree is depicted with a combination of thick brushstrokes, intricate spots and delicate gestural lines, showcasing Hirst’s artistic talent.
H9-4 Politeness is one of eight prints that form the H9 The Virtues series. Each print in the series is slightly different, yet they are all dedicated to and inspired by the cherry blossom tree. The titles of the prints in the series are derived from the ‘Eight Virtues of Bushidō’ according to Nitobe Inazō -Justice, Courage, Mercy, Politeness, Honesty, Honour, Loyalty, and Control. The H9 The Virtues series itself is part of a wider project, dedicated to cherry blossoms. Hirst has created over 100 works, all revolving around these flowers, which will be exhibited for the first time at the Fondation Cartier in Paris in July, 2021.
The way in which the blossoms are composed of tiny spots harks back to Hirst’s Spots series. The Spots series boosted Hirst’s standing in the art world and the use of spots has become intricately linked to the artist himself. As well as demonstrating the influence of Pointillism, there is a clear Impressionist influence that permeates H9-4 Politeness, making the print a fascinating exploration of the movement between figuration and abstraction.