In the course of the 19th century, the images of scientists started to diverge from their ancient models, where the ruler was typically shown in profile—his individuality less important than his representation of power. The medal dedicated to the French chemist Michel-Eugène Chevreul (1786-1889) from 1886 shows him on the front also in profile, his facial features however appear more pronounced and more individualized –  his dishevelled hair in particular is clearly carved out. Thus, Chevreul is stylised as an otherworldly pedant, who has turned his back on the mundane. The figure of the absent-minded professor, which is to gain increasing popularity especially in the 20th century, is already becoming apparent here.

MEDAL FROM THE POSSESSION OF OTTO WALLACHS WITH A PORTRAIT OF MICHEL-EUGENE CHEVRAL (1786–1889) Professor of Applied Chemistry at the Musée d’Histoire Naturelle Paris Oscar Roty, 1886, bronze Museum of Göttingen Chemistry, University of Göttingen


On the occasion of their 50th anniversary of service, a medal was donated to the jurist Georg Ludwig Böhmer (1715-1797) and the teacher of constitutional law Johann Stephan Pütter (1725-1807). On the double portrait of the medal, it shows the relationship between conformity and individuality, typical for the representation of professors in the 18th century. Both of them are shown turned to the left in the profile, the neckline and head posture are the same. And although both exhibit individual traits, the uniform depiction identifies them to be part of a larger community of professors.

PORTRAIT MEDAL OF GEORGE LUDWIG BÖHMER (1715–1797) AND OF JOHANN STEPHAN PÜTTNER (1725–1807), Professors of Law Abraham Abramson, 1796, silver Coin cabinet, University of Göttingen

PORTRAIT MEDAL OF DOROTHEA VON SCHLÖZER (1770–1825) One of the so-called “University Housekeepers” Heinrich-Gerhard Bücker, 1958, bronze Coin cabinet, University of Göttingen
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