Damien Hirst’s most famous works include the ‘Natural History’ series, where animals are suspended in formaldehyde within vitrines, as well as his spot, butterfly, and spin paintings. Panegyric relates to the renowned butterfly paintings, as these beautiful insects are arranged in a mandala-like pattern, with kaleidoscopic effects. Different breeds of butterfly create expanding cylindrical forms upon the bright-green background.
Hirst’s work often draws upon life, death, philosophy and religion, and the work reminds the viewer of stain-glass windows found in churches or pieces of Buddhist and Hindu sacred art. The title of this piece references a type of written verse which might be delivered at a eulogy, drawing our attention to the fact that these butterflies were once living creatures.