Like receptionist Daphne B. Warden, below, many employees of Human Genome Sciences Inc. in Rockville spend their days surrounded by art, especially the art of the Renaissance. Scores of posters, prints and sculptures adorn hallways and public areas in the biotechnology company's buildings. It's a reflection of the personality and predilections of the company's chairman and chief executive, William Haseltine.

Haseltine, a collector and art patron in addition to a medical man, argues that the art sets a tone for his company.

Working in laboratories with disembodied cells and microscopic fragments of genetic material, employees could easily lose sight of why their work is important, he contends. But at HGS, they have only to round a corner or glance at a wall to spot some captivating image of the human form or reminder that life is a struggle against decay. Similarly, the company's quarterly and annual reports always go out bearing lush, full-color reproductions of famous paintings.

"When you are so far removed from the end point, which is treating and curing disease, it helps to have a reminder," Haseltine said a few months ago. "We work for a deeply human purpose."

CAPTION: Protein-development laboratory.

CAPTION: "Proportional Study of Man in the Manner of Vitruvius" (reproduction) by Leonardo da Vinci.

CAPTION: Floor plans of facility (not artwork; a guide for the fire department)

CAPTION: Posters of Monet paintings.

CAPTION: "Mercury" by Boschetti (reproduction in bronze), holding a caduceus, symbol of the medical profession.