The Souls II (emerald green, burgundy and blind impression) is a print from Damien Hirst’s extensive series, The Souls, from 2010. The print shows a large butterfly with its wings outspread, set against a white backdrop. Depicted in green and burgundy, the image of the butterfly has been rendered flat and simplified into block colours, obscuring the fine detail of the original image.
Hirst used a metallic foil block printing technique for this series to create a shimmering effect on the butterfly wings that is representative of the way a real butterfly would reflect the light. The motif of the butterfly has been used by the Greeks to depict Psyche, the soul, and in Christian imagery represents resurrection, hence the series title. This series is therefore highly indicative of Hirst’s fascination with the intersection between spirituality, the human psyche, aesthetics and science.
Across the entire of The Souls series there are four species of butterflies depicted in each print, within which are 80 colour variations, each presented as an edition of 15. The abundance of butterflies across the series reflects the various insects found in a meadow, each one unique.
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