A Woman to Know: Maria Sybilla Merian

Art and nature shall always be wrestling until they conquer one another so that the victory is the same stroke and line. — Maria

(image credit)

In 1699, Maria Sibylla Merian was a 28-year-old divorcee, traveling by ship to uncharted Suriname. Maria was already an accomplished scientific illustrator, and the Dutch governor had paid her to document the fledgling colony's botanical landscape in her signature detailed engravings. Maria's "Metamorphosis" pieces are the first scientific (and artistic!) visual record of insect life cycle — from pale chrysalis to full-winged butterfly and moth.

In the 21st century, her plates are honored in natural science museums and art museums alike — they're also super popular tattoo options for today's ladies of entomology.

(images from Wikimedia Commons)

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Thank you to Jaclyn Skurie for recommending Maria as a woman to know! <3

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