The French chemist and microbiologist Louis Pasteur (d.1895) was responsible for several monumental contributions to science and industry. Perhaps his most famous discovery, the eponymous process of pasteurization, was a method of heating wine, beer and milk to kill micro-organisms that cause fermentation and disease.
The founder of the Carlsberg Breweries, philanthropist Carl Jacobsen, was the first to apply Pasteur's research to industrial fermentation. The Jacobsens had been active in the application of science to brewing, and against this background Carlsberg was responsible for a major breakthrough in microbiology. Furthering the work of Pasteur, Carlsberg scientist Emil Christian Hansen in 1883 isolated the first single-cell yeast culture.
In recognition of Pasteur's contribution, Jacobsen commissioned Dubois to execute this bust portrait, with shoulders in marble. The plaster version was exhibited at the Salon in 1880, (no. 6285), then in bronze at the Salon of 1890, (no. 3812), and again at the Exposition Universelle in 1900 (no. 226).
Other examples exist in Sèvres porcelain, and bronze versions, with and without shoulders, were edited by Rudier and Gruet.