Damien Hirst's diamond skull is a life-size cast of a human skull in platinum, covered entirely by 8,601 VVS to flawless pavé-set diamonds, weighing a total of 1,106.18 carats.
Hirst continues to explore the fundamental themes of human existence – life, death, truth, love, immortality and art itself. Hirst is pushing a concept known so it seems since ancient times:
It did remind me of the Jericho skulls. Jericho is the oldest known city, 8500-7500 BC. and only in the 50's, a huge discovery was Jericho's plastered skulls - it was a replications of the deceased sculpted onto the skull. It was an ancestor-worship. The residents of Jericho buried dead family members under floor of household.
‘The skull is out of this world, celestial almost’ writes the distinguished art historian Rudi Fuchs. ‘It proclaims victory over decay. At the same time’, Fuchs continues, ‘it represents death as something infinitely more relentless. Compared to the tearful sadness of a vanitas scene, the diamond skull is glory itself’. read more
This skull from the site of ancient Jericho is covered with molded plaster and has eyes of shell.