Thursday, January 14, 2016

Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium

Maria Sibylla Merian - Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (1705)

Open Library direct link 
Open Library main page

Seems like I should have known about Merian earlier but it was left to the Brain Pickings newsletter to inform me.  The author was the focus of a Google doodle in 2013, was on the German 500 DM note, this book was reissued by Taschen in 2009 (though is out of print now) and Dover also released a selection.  I missed it all.

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was a German/Dutch entomologist and illustrator, a key figure in both fields.  She also did botanical work but this book is her best known.  There's an English-language biography - Kim Todd's Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis (2007).