Atheist Damien Hirst to display oil paintings in St Paul's

Damien Hirst has already portrayed cows being crucified. Now he is to take a more conventional approach to religious art, emulating the old masters by painting two 20ft-high religious works for display in St Paul’s Cathedral.

The pictures are intended to be placed on two columns directly below the main dome. They will be on display for about six months.

The works are part of an art programme that includes the installation of three or four plasma screens by the American video artist Bill Viola. The videos will be placed close to the high altar.

Hirst’s paintings are provisionally called Hope and Salvation and are supposed to represent the hope and salvation children bring to parents. It is understood Hirst has used his sons, aged 14, 9 and 4, as models for the pictures. more

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