Maria Sibylla Merian (April 2, 1647 – January 13, 1717) was a naturalist and scientific illustrator who studied plants and insects and made detailed paintings about them. Her detailed observations and documentation of the metamorphosis of the butterfly make her a significant, albeit not well known, contributor to entomology.
From the marvelous website:
by Marc Dennis
Imagine, if you will a woman, age 52, divorced, with one of her two daughters in tow, embarking on a rather dangerous three month long trip to Surinam in the northeast region of South America.
Imagine her traveling without a male companion, trekking through the jungles, camping, observing, sketching and painting flora and fauna, with a particular focus on insects and spiders.
And imagine she's there for two years! Two years away from friends, family and homeland.
You might think that this is really no big deal, after all it’s the twenty-first century, women travel alone and practically anyone can go anywhere with certain exceptions. But for the most part the globe is ours to trek.
But what if I asked you to imagine this happened say, in 1693?
Then I suppose it would indeed be a big deal. In fact it would have been somewhat unheard of at the time. But it happened. Meet Maria Sibylla Merian.
Portrait of Maria Sibylla Merian by de Bâle
A girl and her cat
Bubbles! A child's first experience with bubbles. Such joy and amazement!
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