Damien Hirst – The Empresses

5 min read  ·  28 Jan 2022

HENI Editions is delighted to release 'The Empresses', a series of five prints by Damien Hirst.

These striking prints are constructed from images of red butterfly wings, intricately arranged with a filigree of red glitter to produce visually intoxicating, kaleidoscope-like effects. The prints are named after five exceptionally influential female rulers: Nur Jahan, Wu Zetian, Theodora and Taytu Betul. The dominant red tone of the series evokes the power and complexity of their characters, as well as themes such as life, war, power, love, joy, and luck, which are at the heart of their stories.

HENI is offering two options for purchasing these editions: directly, as physical prints, or as a HENI Editions NFT Deed, which allows the buyer to delay receipt of the print for up to three years. The NFT Deed is a new category of HENI NFT that allows collectors to redeem their NFT for the physical artwork at a later date. It also provides greater flexibility to collectors, allowing them to pass on their entitlement to the print by trading the NFT.

damien-hirst-empresses - carousel 1-0
damien-hirst-empresses - carousel 1-1
damien-hirst-empresses - carousel 1-2
damien-hirst-empresses - carousel 1-3

Wu Zetian (H10-1) from The Empresses, Damien Hirst, 2022

'The Empresses' (H10) prints consist of butterflies, meticulously organised into varying patterns – symmetrical, asymmetrical, and spiralling. These images exude hope and life. To the viewer, the butterflies appear almost to be taking flight. This effect is aided by the material - laminated Giclée print on aluminium composite, screen-printed with glitter, which allows the butterfly wings to be presented in such great detail that they appear lifelike.

The images of wings inspire awe and are highlighted with frames of glitter, a fantastically tactile material previously used by Hirst in his paintings. Glitter is loved for its playfulness and joy – a sentiment echoed in the play-on-words of the series title itself, which alludes to both the female rulers that inspired it and the Empress Butterfly.

Hirst has consistently used butterflies in his art for their associations with freedom, religion, life, and death. 'The Empresses' illuminates and further explores these themes. In this new series, those themes become intertwined with stories of glory, female power, and the development of nations, expressed and celebrated in the twists and turns that lend vitality to these dazzling visual compositions.

The prints are available to purchase on HENI Editions from Friday, 28 January 2022 until 5pm UTC on Friday, 4 February 2022. The final number of editions produced will be limited by demand during this time period.

Damien Hirst – The Empresses
Series: H10
Medium: Laminated Giclee print on aluminium composite, screen printed with glitter
Details: Signed and numbered on label
Dimensions: 100 x 100 cm
Date: 2022
Frame: No

Edition Sizes
(Physical : NFT Deed)
(H10-1) Wu Zetian: 1,284 : 1,569
(H10-2) Nūr Jahān: 1,480 : 1,561
(H10-3) Theodora: 1,566 : 1,749
(H10-4) Suiko: 1,657 : 1,653
(H10-5) Taytu Betul: 1,288 : 1,526