Skip to main content

Butterflies in Art

By October 10, 2013March 28th, 2017Blog, Inspiration

I have always believed that butterflies are magical and that if one lands on you, you can make a wish!

Luckily they do quite often land on me so I think I must be very blessed! I will never forget the first time a huge butterfly landed on my knee as a child and seemed to be trying to tell me something, so intent was it’s gaze. Or the time when my daughter Ana was a toddler and a small blue butterfly danced between us, landing first on me and then on her as if casting a spell.

Butterflies are an integral part of my new sculpture collection ‘Adventure’

So delicate and beautiful, I adore them and I’m also fascinated how they have been used in art for centuries.


Butterflies are featured on this ancient Egyptian tomb painting of Nebamun hunting in the marshes.

Butterflies in Art-Jessica Zoob blog


Moving through history Butterflies are also found in Renaissance art. This painting by the Italian artist Dosso Dossi, titled Jupiter Painting Butterflies, Mercury and Virtue, circa 1522-24 depicts the god Jupiter painting butterflies on a canvas.  As he is a god, the act of painting them brings them to life.

Jupiter Painting Butterflies, Mercury and Virtue, by Dosso Dossi


From last century there is this butterfly landscape painting by Salvador Dali. Despite little being known about this painting it is hugely popular as a poster proving the popularity, throughout history of butterflies in art.

Butterfly Landscape painting by Salvador Dali


One of the most incredible works of art featuring butterflies in recent history is Damien Hirst’s piece titled I Am Become Death, Shatterer of Worlds, from 2006.  The truly unique aspect being that it’s made with thousands of dead butterflywings placed in gloss paint.

Damien Hirst Butterfly painting, I Am Become Death


I have had so much fun this week on Pinterest discovering the most stunning images of butterflies, and some incredible artists and craftsmen who share my fascination.

It’s not just me that believes they a special creatures. I love this quote

Happiness is like a butterfly


And this one……




Check out my pinboard for more wonderful butterfly images and do let me know if you have discovered any beautiful art featuring these magnificent creatures as I would love to see it!

Jessica Zoob Butterfly pinboard