decorative arts & objects
Dutch Flower, Insect and Fruit Engravings
Early 18th Century
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Engravings by J. Mulder, P. Sluyter and D. Stoopendaal after Maria Sybilla Merian with later hand-coloring of flowers, fruits and insects from Dissertatio de Generatione et Metamorphasibus Insectorum Surinamensium.
Maria Sybilla, daughter of the German engraver and publisher Matthias Merian, devoted herself to the study of European insects and their metamorphoses. As a result of the wealth of tropical varieties being brought back by the Dutch West Indies Company, she decided to visit the Dutch colony of Surinam herself to study and paint the insect life there. She sailed with her daughter Dorothea on June 1699 from Amsterdam, and remained in Surinam until 1701. Her work, first published in 1705, gave an unprecedented glimpse of the teeming insect life of tropical South America, with gorgeous butterflies flying around luxuriant flowering or fruiting plants and with large many colored caterpillars crawling over the leaves. The plates have earned Maria Merian an honored place in the history of tropical entomology as well as botanical illustration. (Stearn, introduction to The Wondrous Transformation of Caterpillars, 1978)
Dunthorne 205; Hagen, Entomologica p.536; Hunt 483; Nissen BBI 1341; Pfeiffer, Merian A8
Not examined out of frame.
Wear is consistent with age and use.
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