Portrait

Marie Curie: Truth Shines

Marie Curie (1867–1906)

Marie Curie was a Polish and naturalized-French scientist and two-time Nobel Laureate for her pioneering study of radioactivity.

What Watson thinks

Watson analyzed articles about Curie from the past and present. He found that Curie was portrayed by the media, and in turn perceived by the public, as detached from her children, loving her work above all. Most images are of her in the lab or among other scientists –few photos exist of Curie with her daughters.

Despite this public image, Watson found her true nature to be quite the opposite. In her autobiography, and in her private writings, Watson discovered “family” as the most prominent theme, showing that she cared more for her loved ones than for her work.

Artist Sean Freeman has taken this insight and created a unique portrait that reveals the truth about Curie to the world once and for all.

Watson APIs: Natural Language Understanding, Tone Analyzer, Personality Insights, Discovery, Visual Recognition, Speech to Text

The data

Articles written about Curie both during her lifetime and in the present, Curie’s autobiography, private letters, a Nobel lecture and a biography of Curie written by her daughter.

The artwork

Truth Shines was inspired by the dichotomy between the public persona and the personal, lesser-known dimension of Curie, as revealed by Watson: the cold scientist versus the loving woman. The blue text represents the words the public used to describe her, and the glowing red text is taken from actual words used in private writings between Curie and her family.


The artists

Eve Steben is a London-based creative partner and producer at THERE IS Studio and Sean Freeman is a London-born artist, typographer, illustrator and photographer whose work has been featured in the New York Times Magazine, Wired, and the (London) Sunday Times Magazine.

“I’ve shot thousands of portraits. Watson helped me see things I’ve never seen before.”

- Jake Chessum, photographer