Damien Hirst

H10-3 Theodora (The Empresses)


Laminated giclée print on aluminum composite panel screen-printed with glitter

Edition 734 of 3315

Complimentary shipping


International shipping available

Customs duties and taxes may apply.

Ships from: New York, United States

Taxes not included

VAT and other taxes are not reflected in the listed pricing. Read more

Authenticity guaranteed

We guarantee the authenticity of this item.


Up arrow


Damien Hirst (British, b. 1965).

This work is offered unframed.

"The Empresses" (H-10, 2022) marks a new iteration in Damien Hirst’s exploration of the butterfly as a symbol for freedom, religion, life and death. A series of five laminated giclée prints on aluminum composite, screen-printed with glitter, each print depicts images of red and black butterfly wings, arranged into a unique kaleidoscope-like pattern. The carefully positioned wings appear mobile and their patterns transform, each print seeming to capture the butterflies in moments of variously directional flight.

Extraordinarily complex and dynamic, "Theodora" is named for the great Byzantine empress who used her intelligence and savvy to create lasting change in the empire. Born into the lowest class of Byzantine society, Theodora (497–548 CE) rose to power in 527 CE following her marriage to Emperor Justinian. She left a significant impact on the region, namely through implementing new religious and social policies. Indeed, Theodora’s power over the empire left many to wonder if it was her and not Justinian that ruled.

In "Theodora," various hues of red and black butterfly wings assemble into an intriguing asymmetrical pattern, the only one of its kind from the series. Lines of glittering red, noticeable only at proximity, symmetrically sections the composition vertically in half, as well as divides it horizontally into thirds and establishes a circle in the upper half of the print. The lower horizontal band, the circle and the vertical line are the most prominent, creating a formation reminiscent of the female gender symbol. Such recalls some of Theodora’s landmark policies that benefited women, including prohibiting the trafficking of girls and amending divorce laws to give women more rights.

With the wings arranged in pairs or singularly across the work, "Theodora" stands out for its degree of organized chaos. The result of the carefully composed asymmetrical composition is the visual sensation that these wings are not lifeless specimens arranged for the viewer’s aesthetic pleasure, but insects vibrating with life, captured zooming across (and perceivably beyond) the picture plane.


Height: 39.37 inches / 100 cm
Width: 39.37 inches / 100 cm
Depth: 0.39 inches / 1 cm


Signed in pencil on a label affixed to the reverse


David Benrimon Fine Art, New York

Condition Report

This work is in overall excellent condition.


Heni Editions, London

Art Period



Pop Art, Conceptual , Young British Artists

Conditions of Business

Please note that the cancellation right for EU/UK purchasers applies to this item. Please read Condition 19 of the Buy Now Marketplace Conditions of Business for buyers for more information. Read more here.