Emmy Noether

by | Jul 14, 2020

Amalie “Emmy” Noether was a German mathematician I really respect. She made incredible contributions to  theoretical physics and an important theorem has her name. I’m talking about the symmetry theorem: it shows the link between symmetries of a system. A conserved quantity corresponds to every simmetry of the Lagrangian. You can read more about it here.

I decided to draw an appealing and nice Emmy as first digital painting of my Scientists portfolio because I’m actually studying Analytic Mechanics and her theorem is stunning.


Emmy noether painting process

A tour of my creative process and the research on this subject.

I made some different sketches, and it was very hard to me to find the good compromise between aesthetic and scientific comunication. First of all, I wanted to paint a nice female subject, in a slim body to rapresent her strong will and the male vision of a woman as a teacher and a matematician.  

As you can see, I made dramatic changes to her figure. The first drawing was only a first study and some kind of exercise for me. I just decided the pose and the mood. After that I rendered a more realistic face but my Emmy was too much close to an actress and far away from a matematician. The third attempt is the final one. She is a beautiful woman, very serious and from her eyes a little emotion of fear shows up. I’ve read her biography before doing this painting and I found something shocking: sh worked as a private teacher in her university with no salary because she was a woman. Also, someone said “what could a soldier of us, coming back from war, when he will study from a woman?”
She is a very relevant matematician and her works can be compared to Pitagora’s. She is an example to follow with no doubt.