Merian, Maria Sibylla (1647-1717) (after)
Maria Sibylla Merian was the daughter of the well known engraver and publisher, Matthaus Merian. When only three, her father died and her mother soon married Jacob Marrell, a well known Dutch flower painter. Early on, her stepfather recognized Maria’s talent for drawing and fostered it, allowing her to pursue her interests. She became fascinated with the metamorphosis of butterflies, their transitions and habitats. In 1679 she published the “European Insects”, colored by own hand and that of her daughter Dorothea. In 1699, when Maria was age 52, she embarked on a three month long voyage to Surinam, with her youngest teenage daughter in tow. It was here where they gathered the material and made the drawings for the “Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium”, published in 1705. Maria and Dorothea encountered many adventures and survived many perils, which emerges vividly from the commentaries in book. Upon her death, her daughter published all three parts of her mothers life’s work, entitled “Erucarum Ortus Alimentum et Paradoxa Metamorphosis”. The works now reside at the Academy of Sciences. These prints were engraved and hand colored in the 19th century, after the original larger works by Merian.
(After) Maria Sibylla Merian’s publication “Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium”