I have just seen the image of the medal of Nobel award. One side of the medal is portrait of Alfred Nobel; the other side is two women where one is with bared nipples.

Can you help me with data and meaning of this awkwardness. I believe there are some history and an interesting background. I will be glad If anyone explains me the significance and symbology of the portrait.

  • google.com.bd/…
    – user365861
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 18:07
  • 1
    I had never heard about it. When I googled, I found that the award exists with several different backsides. So I think there are different explanations every time. Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 18:18
  • It is the reverse of Noble medal physics.
    – user365861
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 18:20
  • Noble medal chemistry Dec,1954
    – user365861
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 18:27
  • Wallace, aren't my given link working?? Haven't you yet find it?
    – user365861
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 18:31

2 Answers 2


I guess you meant this one (WARNING: Mythologyc tits below!)

enter image description here

What the woman holds in her hand is a Cornucopia, which most likely makes the woman Amalthea. Since that goddess main achievement was nurturing Zeus when he was a baby, she is usually represented with her bare breasts (the perverts!).

As to why she figures in the medal of practical sciences Nobel (chemistry and physics), I can only guess that since the cornucopia represents wealth and abundance, it is a reference to the wealth and abundance brought in by science.

  • Thanks for your answer. Will you help me with furthermore information.What's about the other woman and her box?? And what is she doing with amalthea?
    – user365861
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 19:06
  • Now this enters totally inside the realm of speculation, but it appears the other woman is unveiling Amalthea. Which makes me think that, more than a representation of a specific mythologyc story it is an allegory of science discovering or making available abundancy (that is, the artist is combining well known elements to send his message). Kind of compicated for someone who does not know the meaning of the elements, but if the artist had just written "Science is good" he would have probably been fired.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 19:23
  • To illustrate the point about allegories, a famous work is Delacroix's "Liberty leading the people" (also with tits), which is pretty confusing unless you know who Marianne is.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 19:24
  • 1
    Can't we say "breasts" or "boobs." Cows have tits...not our women. Commented Sep 10, 2016 at 13:05

The goddess in the picture isn't amalthea.

The medal of The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences represents Nature in the form of a goddess resembling Isis, emerging from the clouds and holding in her arms a cornucopia. The veil which covers her cold and austere face is held up by the Genius of Science.

The inscription on the medal reads:

Inventas vitam juvat excoluisse per artes

loosely translated "And they who bettered life on earth by their newly found mastery." (Word for word: "inventions enhance life which is beautified through art.")

The words are taken from Vergilius Aeneid, the 6th song, verse 663:

Lo, God-loved poets, men who spake things worthy Phoebus' heart; and they who bettered life on earth by new-found mastery

The name of the Nobel Laureate is engraved on the plate below the figures, and the text "REG. ACAD. SCIENT. SUEC." stands for The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences.

The Nobel Medal for Physics and Chemistry was designed by Erik Lindberg.


  • Nice, then uncheck my answer so I can delete it. In a couple of days you should be able to check your own answer as correct.
    – SJuan76
    Commented Sep 8, 2016 at 19:30

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