AMSTERDAM.- From 1 November to 15 December 2008 the Rijksmuseum presents For the Love of God, the celebrated diamond encrusted skull by Britains Damien Hirst. This show at the Rijksmuseum brings the world premier of the works international tour to Amsterdam. To accompany the exhibition Hirst has chosen a personal selection from the Rijksmuseums collection of 17th-century art.
'For the Love of God' is a platinum cast of a human skull encrusted with 8,601 flawless diamonds. Set on the forehead is a large, pear-shaped light fancy pink diamond, called the Skull Star Diamond. The teeth are from the original skull. It was hailed worldwide and generated enormous publicity when first unveiled in 2007 at Londons White Cube. Dutch art historian Rudi Fuchs described it as a supernatural skull, almost heavenly. He relates Hirsts work to the memento mori and vanitas motifs popular in the Dutch Golden Age. For the Love of God and Hirsts personal selection of works from the Rijksmuseum collection reveal how fear of death has provided a theme in art over the centuries. Appropriately, For the Love of God appears in the Philips Wing, surrounded by the Masterpieces of the Golden Age.