Overall dimensions: 257.3 × 133.5 × 99.5 cm (101 5/16 × 52 9/16 × 39 3/16 in.)

Proteus, a sea god with the gift of metamorphosis, is depicted in full physical mutation: his right arm, legs and face become stones and rocks from the grottoes where he slept. The fake underwater ecosystem, which partially covers his body and turns it into a spiky surface, echoes the underwater environment of the god, called by Homer the "Old Man of the Sea".

Damien Hirst’s bronze sculpture Proteus depicts a marine divinity who used his ability to metamorphose to keep men from exploiting his gift of prophecy, which he transmitted only under physical constraint. This mythological theme is in keeping with the exceptional exhibition for which the work was created, which featured sunken “ancient treasures" retrieved from the bottom of the sea.

Hirst's Proteus was presented for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2017 exhibition "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" at the Punta della Dogana.
Damien Hirst's other artwork