idw – Informationsdienst Wissenschaft

Nachrichten, Termine, Experten

Grafik: idw-Logo
Science Video Project

idw-News App:


Google Play Store

05.08.2022 10:00

Special exhibition "Abbild und Verwandlung" - Fascinating marvels of a mineral imagery

Sabine Heine Presse- und Öffentlichkeitsarbeit
Leibniz-Institut zur Analyse des Biodiversitätswandels

    The hidden art of rocks: From 9 August, the exhibition "Abbild und Verwandlung" shows 30 petrographics by Prof. Dr. Michael Raith. The emeritus geoscientist opens up fascinating in-sights into the marvellous microcosm of rocks and minerals. The artistically processed photos taken under the microscope reveal an inspiring mineral world of images featuring a wide varie-ty of colours and shapes. The special exhibition can be visited at the Museum Koenig Bonn until 25 September.

    Michael Raith's petrographics combine geology and art. What appears to be abstract art are natural structures of different geomaterials in the micrometre range. Brightly coloured or black and white, straight lines or flowing transitions - an incredible spectrum of colours and structures opens up to the viewers. Similarly diverse are the moods of the pictures and the emotions they evoke: sometimes cheerful and wonderful, sometimes serious and profound. "The pictures enable access to science and research methods through art, and open up new perspectives on nature," says Prof. Dr Bernhard Misof, Director General of the Leibniz Institute for the Analysis of Biodiversity Change (LIB), excited to present the special exhibition for a second time at Museum Koenig Bonn.

    The artistic microphotographs are based on the polarisation microscopic examination of materials (minerals, rocks, ores, synthesis products) - one of the classical and still essential mineralogical methods of analysis. For this purpose, wafer-thin and finely ground sample slices, so-called thin sections, are prepared. These are translucent so that fine structures and colour appearances become visible under a transmitted light microscope. By using polarisation filters, light waves can be superimposed (interference effects) so that the materials appear in completely different colours.

    Based on this research method, a hidden variety of motifs opens up to the artist's eye. "The enormous possibilities of digital microphotography and image editing have played a crucial role in turning my artistic inclination into a passion. Even randomly found motifs can inspire me. Above all, however, it is inner moods and ideas that guide my eye in the search for motifs," explains Michael Raith, on the development of his petrographics. The pictures create quite different associations from the viewer's own experiences.

    The special exhibition can be seen from 9 August to 25 September in the cafeteria of the Museum Koenig Bonn during the usual opening hours. There is no separate entrance fee.

    Background information on the artist:
    Michael Martin Raith (*1940 in Madrid) has been professor emeritus at the Institute of Geosciences at the University of Bonn since 2005. His research focused on the internal structure and evolution of Precambrian continental crust, in particular the rock-forming processes occurring at great depths. The intensive microscopic processing of the most diverse geomaterials in the course of his long professional life awakened his enthusiasm for the fascinating visual world of a hidden microcosm early on.


    About the LIB
    The LIB is dedicated to researching biodiversity and its changes, the results of which are disseminated to the wider society in an educational manner. In order to better understand the current mass extinction of flora and fauna, researchers are looking for connections and causes of – often – man-made changes. The goal is to develop solutions for the preservation of ecosystems and species in order to maintain the basis of current life.

    About the Leibniz-Association
    The Leibniz Association combines 96 independent research institutes. Their focus ranges from the natural, engineering, and environmental sciences to the humanities and the business, space, and social sciences. The Leibniz institutes focus on relevant social, economic, and ecological issues. They perform knowledge-oriented and applied research (also among the cross-disciplinary Leibniz research alliances), are or support scientific infrastructures, and offer research-based services.

    Wissenschaftliche Ansprechpartner:

    Prof. Dr. Michael Raith
    Tel. +49 2226-5168


    Michael Raith
    Michael Raith

    Place of longing
    Place of longing
    Michael Raith
    Michael Raith

    Merkmale dieser Pressemitteilung:
    Biologie, Geowissenschaften, Kunst / Design
    Buntes aus der Wissenschaft, Forschungs- / Wissenstransfer



    Zum Download


    Place of longing

    Zum Download



    Die Suche / Erweiterte Suche im idw-Archiv

    Sie können Suchbegriffe mit und, oder und / oder nicht verknüpfen, z. B. Philo nicht logie.


    Verknüpfungen können Sie mit Klammern voneinander trennen, z. B. (Philo nicht logie) oder (Psycho und logie).


    Zusammenhängende Worte werden als Wortgruppe gesucht, wenn Sie sie in Anführungsstriche setzen, z. B. „Bundesrepublik Deutschland“.


    Die Erweiterte Suche können Sie auch nutzen, ohne Suchbegriffe einzugeben. Sie orientiert sich dann an den Kriterien, die Sie ausgewählt haben (z. B. nach dem Land oder dem Sachgebiet).

    Haben Sie in einer Kategorie kein Kriterium ausgewählt, wird die gesamte Kategorie durchsucht (z.B. alle Sachgebiete oder alle Länder).