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Butterfly illustration by Maria Sibylla Merian

Butterfly illustration by Maria Sibylla Merian


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Butterfly illustration by Maria Sibylla Merian

Butterfly illustration by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator, engraved by P Sluyter, from a visit to Suriname, South America, folio volume with colour plates. Date: 1719

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Media ID 11469244

© Mary Evans Picture Library

1719 Butterflies Butterfly Caterpillar Caterpillars Eating Engraved Folio Illustrator Latin Maria Markings Merian Naturalist Plates Scientific Sibylla Sluyter Surinam Suriname Sybilla Volume


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EDITORS COMMENTS
This stunning butterfly illustration is a captivating work of art and science by the renowned German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator, Maria Sibylla Merian. The image, engraved by P. Sluyter, is taken from a folio volume of color plates, published in 1719 after her visit to Suriname, South America. Merian's meticulous attention to detail is evident in the intricate markings and coloration of the butterfly, which is depicted in the act of alighting on a lush, green leaf. The background is filled with various plants and caterpillars, showcasing the intricate relationships between these creatures and their environment. Merian's groundbreaking work in the field of entomology, or the study of insects, was revolutionary for her time. Her detailed observations and illustrations of the life cycles of butterflies and other insects challenged the prevailing beliefs of her day and laid the foundation for modern scientific understanding. This illustration is a testament to Merian's unwavering dedication to documenting the natural world and her innovative approach to scientific illustration. The vibrant colors and intricate details bring the beauty and complexity of these creatures to life, making this a true masterpiece of natural history. The folio volume in which this plate appears is a rare and valuable historical document, providing a glimpse into the world of natural history exploration during the early modern period. The image of the butterfly, with its delicate wings and colorful markings, continues to captivate and inspire, reminding us of the wonders of the natural world and the importance of scientific discovery.

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