Object Record

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Collection Nature Print Collection
Catalog Number 2016.7.2
Object Name Print
Description "Study of Butterflies, Caterpillar, Pupa, and Chrysalis," hand-colored copperplate engraving from "Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium (Transformations of the insects of Suriname)," by Maria Sibylla Merian. Amsterdam, 1719.

Exhibition Label (Birds, Bugs, & Blooms, 2014): Thanks to her notoriety as an artist, Merian was able to travel to Suriname, South America without male accompaniment, despite being a woman. Assisted by her daughter, Merian explored the life cycles of insects, painting her observations in breathtaking watercolor. Her Metamorphosis helped disprove the idea of spontaneous generation, and is considered one of the most important natural history books of all time.
female artist, gender norms, social norms, gender roles, empowerment, nature, science
Title Study of Butterflies, Caterpillar, Pupa, and Chrysalis
Date 1719
Role of Creator Artist
Creator Merian, Maria Sibylla
Medium ink
Material paper
Technique copperplate engraving
Dimensions H-19.75 W-14 inches
Credit line Gift of John Glynn
Subjects Illustration, Entomological