Friday, November 28, 2014

Maria Merian

A newly-published book has brought much-deserved attention to 17th-18th c. German-born naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Merian. Her lifework and drawings (IMAGE ABOVE, GALLERY HERE) helped dispel superstition about the "evil" origins of metamorphosis that caused butterflies to change from one form to another. Reviewer Maria Popova writes, "By meticulous and attentive observation, Merian proved that the process was very much a natural one, and beautifully so." This began when she was only 13 years old and continued even after a stroke had left her paralyzed.

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