‘The Virgin Mother’ is a 33-foot, thirteen-ton bronze sculpture, cast at Pangolin Editions foundry, in Gloucester. The work, which Hirst has rendered in a variety of different editions, can be considered a female version to Hirst’s monumental ‘Hymn’ (1999-2005). This first edition includes a painted anatomical cross section. The figure’s stance recalls Edgar Degas’s ‘Little Dancer of Fourteen Years’ (c.1881). Hirst explains the significance of the reference to Degas: “It is kind of naughty; she shouldn't really be pregnant. I wanted a feeling of that. Anyone who is pregnant looks old enough, that's the problem.”
‘The Virgin Mother’ is intended as an outdoor sculpture and has been installed in the courtyard of Lever House, New York, outside London’s Royal Academy, and on Fontvieille Harbour, Monaco.
 Damien Hirst cited in ‘Like People, Like Flies: Damien Hirst Interviewed’, Mirta D’Argenzio, ‘The Agony and the Ecstasy: Selected Works from 1989–2004’ (Electa Napoli, 2004), 216, 218