The spin work, which Hirst created in 2014, had never been seen by the public as it went directly from his studio to the Government Art Collection (GAC) in 2015. It is not until now, on the release of the GAC's annual report, that the existence of the painting became known. The collection already had one of Hirst's spot paintings.

Damien Hirst's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 2014 Image: Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2016. Damien Hirst's portrait of Queen Elizabeth II, 2014
Image: Prudence Cuming Associates © Damien Hirst and Science Ltd. All rights reserved, DACS 2016.

The report states that Hirst donated the portrait to the collection on 23rd March, 2015, following an enquiry on behalf of the GAC to purchase a second Hirst piece. With the price not within the GAC's budget, no second work was purchased. To show his support to the GAC scheme, Hirst donated the spin painting instead.

Damien Hirst in Lazaro jewellery on Sotheby's At Auction Cover Image via Lazaro Damien Hirst in Lazaro jewellery on Sotheby's At Auction Cover
Image via Lazaro

Since its inception in 1898, the GAC has more than 13 500 artworks which date back to the 16th century through to contemporary artists. The works are on display in London's UK Government buildings.

Now it has been revealed that Hirst donated the painting of the Queen, it would appear his anti-establishment days of the 1980s and 1990s are well and truly over.

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