164. Damien Hirst (English b. 1965)
For the Love of God Diamond Skull 2007
Silkscreen Print Diamond Dust, Edition 172/250
100 x 75 cm
est. $20,000 - 30,000
Relative Size: For the Love of God Diamond Skull 2007
Relative size



PROVENANCE Private Collection Auckland

For the Love of God is a 2007 sculpture by British artist Damien Hirst. It consists of a platinum cast of an 18th-century human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds, including a pear-shaped pink diamond located in the forehead that is known as the Skull Star Diamond. The artwork is Hirst's dazzling, contemporary memento mori, a reminder of our shared mortality. The work's title was supposedly inspired by Hirst's mother, who asked of her son; for the love of God, what are you going to do next?

In 2007, art historian Rudi Fuchs, described the work as; out of this world, celestial almost. It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself.

The works inaugural display was at London's White Cube Gallery, in the Beyond Belief exhibition. During November-December 2008, Hirst exhibited the diamond skull at the historic Rijksmuseum in Amsterdam. For the Love of God was also displayed in the Palazzo Vecchio, Florence and at Tate Modern, London in 2012. The work has been exhibited in Doha, Qatar and at the Astrup Fearnley Museum of Modern Art in Oslo, Norway.

After the sculpture was reportedly sold to an investment group for $100 million, Hirst released two silkscreen prints. A smaller sized rendition in an edition 1,000 and the version featured here, which is glazed with diamond dust and is number 30 of an edition of 250.