"Quick. Quick. Take the photo." This photograph of Hirst at 16 with a severed head was taken at a morgue in Leeds where Hirst tagged along with a friend who was studying microbiology (the branch of biology dealing with the structure, function, uses, and modes of existence of microscopic organisms). By the time he was immersing himself in the world of the human cadaver - he had already built up an impressive collection of books on pathology (the science and course of diseases). As well as being fascinated by the gorier side of the human body, such as burns and wounds he was also interested the work of Francis Bacon, inspired by both to create his own paintings. Hirst maintained that, although he was fascinated by corpses - how they can be both visually horrific and beautiful at the same time - dead bodies still didn’t explain anything about death.