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Bronze statue of Louis Pasteur, Europe, 1870-1890

The bronze statue shows the French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (1822-1895) in a famous pose examining the contents of a flask. Pasteur had a number of research interests including fermentation, spontaneous generation, diseases of animals such as silkworms, and human diseases such as rabies, which made him world famous. Notice how he is dressed; not in the white lab coat of a modern scientist but dressed in a frock-coat and suit. The base of the statue is signed “Galli” and may refer to Riccardo Galli, Italian artist, active c. 1877-1890, or Pietro Galli, Italian sculptor (1804-1877).

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Glossary: statue

A sculpture in the round representing human or animal figures or small figure groups; a statuette is a smaller sculpture.

Glossary: microbiology

Branch of biology that deals with micro-organisms such as bacteria, viruses, and fungi, and their effects.

Glossary: rabies

Rabies is a disease which infects domestic and wild animals. It is a virus transmitted to other animals and humans through close contact with saliva from those infected (i.e. bites, scratches, licks on broken skin). Once symptoms of the disease develop, rabies is fatal.

Glossary: silkworm

Moth caterpillar that feeds chiefly on mulberry leaves. The common domesticated Bombyx mori is raised commercially for its silk cocoon

Glossary: spontaneous generation

The supposed production of living organisms from non-living matter, a common belief until the 1800s.

Glossary: fermentation

A form of anaerobic respiration (respiration that does not need oxygen) occurring in certain micro-organisms, for example yeasts.