Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

The daughter of the important Swiss engraver Matthaeus Merian, Maria Sibylla Merian grew up in the famous publishing house of Theodor de Bry, one of whose daughters had been Merian's first wife. Sibylla was thus involved in and influenced by the classic lifestyle devoted to the arts and, having extanded artistic talents of her own and an insatiable curiosity about the life of insects became the most important entomologist and a very distinguished painter of insects of her time, although the flowers are the main point of decorative attraction for us. She portrays the insects upon the plants where they lived. The beauty and delicacy of these botanical plates represent some of the finest artistic copper etchings.

One must admire Maria Sibylla Merian as a woman of her time. She and her younger daughter left Europe to travel to the Dutch colony of Surinam (Guiana), at that time in history an extremely difficult enterprise. They arrived in Surinam in 1701. There she collected material for her greatest book "Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium" which was published in 1705 in Amsterdam. She made several hundred drawings on vellum which she and her daughter later engraved. It is a work rich with tropical flowers and fruit, insects of all kinds, especially exotic butterflies, moths and caterpillars.

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Maria Sibylla Merian. From „Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium":

Sauvegard (Jacruaru or Surinam toad). Plate 70 from the mentioned work.

Copper etching after the drawing by Maria Sibylla Merian. Original hand coloring.

Amsterdam, 1730 edition.

General age toning. Some fox spots in wide margins. Otherwise in very good condition.

28 x 38.4 cm (11 x 15.1").

$ 1400.00

Order Nr. REPTILE9723


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Maria Sibylla Merian. From „Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium":

„Grenouilles" Surinam frogs. (Development of frogs from tadpole onward). Plate 71 from the mentioned work.

Copper etching by P. Slyter after the drawing by Maria Sibylla Merian. Original hand coloring.

Amsterdam, 1730 edition.

Left and right narrow margins. Right margin reenforced. General age toning. Some wrinkles in lower margin.

41 x 30.4 cm (16.1 x 12").

$ 420.00

Order Nr. AMPHIBIAN9704


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Maria Sibylla Merian. From „Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium":

Surinam toad. Plate 59 from the mentioned work.

Copper etching by P. Sluyter after the drawing by Maria Sibylla Merian. Original hand coloring.

Amsterdam, 1730 edition.

Some minor traces of age and use. Wide margins. Very clean.

26.9 x 37.4 cm (10.6 x 14.7").

Order Nr. MSMERIAN6533 SOLD


One of three "bouquets" held together by a ribbon.

This copper etching has fine modern hand coloring. Narrow margins, except top margin. A brown line all around outside image from the matting of a former framing.

Image 21.5 x 15.5 cm (8.5 x 6.1")

$ 650.00

Order nr. MSMERIAN6532


Botanical Prints by Matthaeus Merian

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