centro cultural tina modotti caracas Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium
Maria Sibylla Merian (born April 1647, Frankfurt am Main, Germany —died, 1717, Amsterdam, Netherlands), was a German-born naturalist and nature artist known for her illustrations of insects and plants.
In 1699 Merian and her daughter Dorothea Maria set sail for a projected five-year-long expedition to Suriname, located on the northern coast of South America.
The voyage afforded Merian a unique opportunity to explore new species of insects and plants. The two women settled in at Paramaribo and together collected, studied, and composed illustrations of the jungle’s plants, insects, and other animals.
After less than two years, however, illness forced Merian to return to Amsterdam.
In 1705 she published Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (“The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname”).
Arguably the most important work of her career, it included some 60 engravings illustrating the different stages of development that she had observed in Suriname’s insects.
Similar to her caterpillar book, Metamorphosis depicted the insects on and around their host plants and included text describing each stage of development. The book was one of the first illustrated accounts of the natural history of Suriname.
Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, 1705
« Realizzando quest’opera, non ho mirato al guadagno, contentandomi di rifarmi delle spese sostenute. Non ho badato a spese per eseguire quest’opera. Ho fatto incidere le tavole da un celebre maestro e ho procurato al libro la carta migliore per portare soddisfazione e piacere non solo agli amatori dell’arte ma anche agli amatori degli insetti e sono felice sentendo di aver raggiunto il mio scopo e di aver loro procurato della gioia. »
(Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Introduzione)
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