A Butterfly Journey
Maria Sibylla Merian. Artist and Scientist
The amazing story of the life and work of the renowned botanical artist Maria Sibylla Merian is told alongside her beautiful illustrations of butterflies in this charming and elegant book.
A woman ahead of her time, Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) was an intrepid explorer, naturalist, scholar, as well as a magnificent artist. This lovely, impeccably designed book tells Merian’s incredible life story alongside colorful reproductions of her engravings and watercolors of the butterflies she encountered during her lifetime in Germany and the Netherlands, and her seminal trip to the Dutch colony of Surinam. The book recounts Merian’s monumental expedition, her work as an advocate for the slave laborers of Surinam, and her important studies of the anatomy and life cycle of the butterfly. Author Boris Friedewald employs Merian’s favorite insect as a metaphor for the artist’s own pioneering evolution from budding entomologist to educator, activist, and artist. A visual treasure as well as a satisfying read, this exquisite volume is the perfect gift for anyone interested in Merian’s amazing life and groundbreaking body of work.
BORIS FRIEDEWALD is an art historian, playwright, and the author of Bauhaus and Paul Klee: Life and Work (both by Prestel). He lives in Berlin.