The Warrior and the Bear



Overall dimensions: 734 × 325 × 210 cm (289 × 127 15/16 × 82 11/16 in.)

This monumental sculpture depicts a wildly grinning young woman triumphantly riding a huge bear. It refers to the arkteia, an ancient Greek initiation rite where Athenian girls imitated bears, danced and performed sacrifices. This act of orchestrated savagery served to appease Artemis, the goddess of hunting, after the Athenians killed a bear.

This bronze sculpture called The Warrior and the Bear features many exceptional details, partly hidden by coral, made using the lost-wax method, which has hardly changed in the last 5,000 years. Damien Hirst combines this method with a traditional scene, which he reinterprets in a celebration of the goddess’s ferocity.

Hirst's The Warrior and the Bear was exhibited for the first time by the Pinault Collection at the 2017 "Treasures from the Wreck of the Unbelievable" show at the Punta della Dogana.
Damien Hirst's other artwork