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Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium

Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium

Maria Sibylla Merian. Dissertatio de generatione et metamorphosibus insectorum surinamensium. Amstelædami: J. Oosterwijk, 1719.

Merian sailed from Amsterdam to Surinam with her daughter Dorothea in 1699, and remained there until 1701.  Merian’s work offers an insight into the exotic insect life of tropical South America, with lizards and snakes, colorful butterflies flying around flowering or fruiting plants, and huge caterpillars moving across the leaves.

Naturalists purchased the Surinam book because Merian's paintings included a number of plants and insects that had not previously been seen or described in Europe.  This book was ground-breaking in many ways and had an enormous impact on European perception of the tropical New World, the life cycles of insects, and the manner in which natural history subjects could be illustrated to indicate their natural context.

 
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