Tuesday, 11:34am
15 February 2011

Stendhal moments

john ridpath
the events department
Visual culture

Overwhelming beauty in scientific research – at Boijmans in Rotterdam

An astonishing collection of images of great beauty from the natural sciences went on show at Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen in Rotterdam last Saturday.

Prof. Dr Hans Galjaard, curator of the exhibition, sought out examples from the following fields: physics, chemistry, geology, microbiology, marine biology, botany, fungal diversity, cell biology of higher organisms, human reproduction and astronomy.

He asked practitioners in more than 30 institutions if they had experienced what he calls a ‘Stendhal moment’, an instance of overwhelming beauty, during their research.

There are no physical artworks; scientific films and images will be projected on the walls and ceilings.

Top: Marble, Verde D’Arno, polished surface 7x9 cm. Photograph: Dirk Wiersma, Utrecht.


Above: Crystalline mixture including dextrin and potassium bicarbonate. Photograph: Loes Modderman.

Below: Crystalline mixture of paracetamol and dextrin. Photograph: Loes Modderman.

Chemistry_02_Loes Modderman

Life in water_04_Wim van Egmond

Above: Diatoms. Photograph: Wim van Egmond / Micropolitan Museum.

Below: A carbon nanotube (green) over two electrodes. Photograph: Cees Dekker, Nanotechnology Institute, Delft University of Technology.

Physics_01_Cees Dekker

Plants_04_Ruth van Crevel

Above: Star moss. Photograph: Ruth van Crevel from Plantenparade (2001).

Below: Pollen grain. Photograph: Jan Muller, National Herbarium of the Netherlands.


Below: Inside the Eagle Nebula. Photograph: T. A. Rector & B. A. Wolpa, National Optical Astronomy Observatory/Association of Universities for Research in Astronomy / National Science Foundation.

The Universe_01_Rector Wolpa

12 February > 5 June 2011
Beauty in Science
Museum Boijmans Van Beuningen
18 3015 CX Rotterdam

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