Mendeleev Mosaic

Mendeleev mosaic

The Mendeleev Mosaic was created as a companion piece to the Timeline of Elements project in celebration of the 2019 International Year of the Periodic Table.

Students, teachers, and chemistry enthusiasts from 15 countries around the world submitted 327 original portraits of Mendeleev, which were then used to create a larger mosaic portrait of Dmitri Mendeleev himself.

Why 2019? And why a companion project to the Timeline of Elements?

The United Nations General Assembly proclaimed 2019 as the International Year of the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements (IYPT 2019). The goal: " proclaiming an International Year focusing on the Periodic Table of Chemical Elements and its applications, the United Nations has recognized the importance of raising global awareness of how chemistry promotes sustainable development and provides solutions to global challenges in energy, education, agriculture, and health."

This year coincides with the 150th anniversary of Dmitri Mendeleev’s published Periodic Table in 1869.

Mendeleev was a Russian chemist who lived from 1834 to 1907. In addition to the Periodic Table, he created the Periodic Law, relating chemical properties to an element’s position in the periodic table. And although he did not discover any elements, his contribution to what we know as the Periodic Table today is indisputable.

We wanted to honour Mendeleev and his special role in the history of chemistry, while giving everyone an opportunity to be a part of this international celebration, which is why we added a companion project to the Timeline of Elements. The mosaic of hundreds of Mendeleev portraits from around the world has been tranformed into an online poster, as well as installed as part of the larger-than-life Timeline of Elements mural, located in the Science Teaching Complex at the University of Waterloo in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada.

View and print the poster

Download our final poster image (accessible PDF). Printing can be done at home or through a professional printing service.

Please note: The maximum recommended size for printing is 22-inches by 17-inches (56cm by 43cm).

See the individual images

Did you submit an image? Do you want to see your classmates' contributions? Visit our image gallery of all 327 images, organized by country, school, and then artist. You will be amazed at the many ways Dmitri Mendeleev has been illustrated!

Our sponsors and contributors

We would like to thank the following sponsors for their financial support of this project:

Bringing over 327 pieces of artwork into a meaningful and educational piece has truly been a joint effort. It’s thanks to the vision, talent, patience – and yes, persistence – of each member of this team, that we were able to make the Mendeleev Mosaic poster a reality.

  • Jean Hein, former Editor, Chem 13 News magazine
  • Heather Neufeld, Manager, Science Outreach
  • Corina McDonald, Museum Curator, Earth Sciences Museum
  • Victoria Van Cappellen, Web Administrator, Department of Chemistry
  • Joy Roasa and Jaime Simons, our amazing Waterloo Co-op students

We would also like to thank:

  • Kathy Jackson, Chem 13 News Secretary, Department of Chemistry
  • Melissa Martinez, Communications Design Specialist, Creative Services