Not only since the baroque natural history cabinets have the millions of years old minerals been regarded as wonders of nature, whose crystallized geometry reveals an almost magically beautiful order of inorganic matter that has always captivated art and science. The passionate collector Martin Haubenreißer has been painting mineral specimens for three decades - true to scale and composed into impressive picture panels, in the detailed tradition of natural history illustration: the coral-red crocoite, the blue-milky agate, the shiny golden cubes of pyrite, the roundish masses of bottle-green malachite or the columns of transparent tourmaline, but above all the multicolored and multiform fluorites from mainly Saxon mines. Precisely because his true-to-life watercolors do not idealize the pieces, but show flaws as well as the labels belonging to the specimens and revealing their provenance, Haubenreißer's illustrations make the individuality and the historicity of each individual mineral specimen tangible. His masterful and sensitive plates, published here for the first time in book form, magnificently visualize the creative and aesthetic power of unimaginably slow geological processes that produced each individual element, each chemical compound. At a moment when mankind has almost exhausted the deposits and sealed most of the pits, the minerals are testimony to a superior temporality reaching back to the beginnings of the planet.
Martin Haubenreißer, born in Bielefeld in 1938, worked in the now extinct craft of chemigraphy, where he could apply his talent for drawing. He has been a mineral collector since 1977 and began drawing minerals from his own collection in 1995. His drawings, which now number over 600, have already been exhibited at the Natural History Museum in Leipzig, at the Munich Mineral Days and at the Chair Tree Museum in Rabenau.