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 iuvat 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.
Since 2012 the Nobel Medals has been manufactured by Svenska Medalj in Eskilstuna.
More on the Nobel Medals and the Medal for the Prize in Economic Sciences:
Physics and Chemistry
Physiology or Medicine