Hands in Prayer


Malachite, paint and white agate

21.5 × 18.1 × 13.3 cm (8 7/16 × 7 1/8 × 5 1/4 in.)

Hands joined in prayer are marked by age. Countless undulating veins mark the wrinkled skin. Made of malachite and white agate, the sculpture Hands in Prayer is also covered by finely worked coral associating it with marine archaeology.

Despite its ancient appearance, Hands in Prayer was created in 2010 by Damien Hirst. It belongs to a collection “discovered” in 2008 in a ship that sank during the Roman Empire. But the joined hands gesture betrays the object’s phoniness: recalling Albrecht Dürer's drawing Hands in Prayer, it appeared much later in religious iconography.

Hirst's Hands in Prayer was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection during the 2017 show "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" at the Palazzo Grassi.
Damien Hirst's other artwork