E. Roland Bevan

Professor Sir Alexander Fleming, 1881-1955. Discoverer of penicillin

About this artwork

This bronze cast was acquired the year after Sir Alexander Fleming's death, although the original sculpture was created in 1948. By this time Fleming was an international celebrity, showered with honours and awards for his contribution to the discovery of penicillin and his pioneering research on its antibacterial properties. Twenty years earlier he had made the world-famous observation of a mould inhibiting the growth of bacteria, suspecting that the mould, Penicillum notatum, had accidentally entered his laboratory through an open window. Although Fleming was a shy man, the sculptor E Roland Bevan would have had ample opportunity to study his features, as he was his snooker partner - or opponent - at the Chelsea Arts Club for many years.

E. Roland Bevan

E. Roland Bevan