Dorothy Crowfoot Hodgkin OM FRS (1910-1994) was a leading biochemist and a pioneer in the field of protein crystallography. She received a Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 1964, the first British woman to be so honoured. Her life’s work determined the molecules in structures including penicillin, vitamin B12 and insulin.
This 1979 study of Dorothy Hodgkin by Graham Sutherland (1903-1980) was never completed as the artist died, leaving only this luminous watercolour. Sutherland’s scaling grid which visibly underpins the painting seems oddly appropriate to a scientist who spent most of her career looking deeply into the molecular structure of nature.