Search results

Start typing

Half height banner for Maria Merian exhibition, showing a butterfly
This exhibition is in the past. View our current exhibitions.

Merian and Metamorphosis

Merian eagerly followed the new developments in this branch of science. In her own texts, she referred to the entomological pioneers Jan Swammerdam, Jan Goedart, and Stephan Blankaart. She read the research of Anthonie van Leeuwenhoek, the early microscopist, and challenged some of his findings. Merian also corresponded with others working in the field, notably James Petiver, a London apothecary who studied butterflies and on whom she relied to promote her work in Britain.

Merian’s drawings show all the stages of a life cycle on the correct food plant. She sometimes got the combinations wrong, perhaps a result of getting drawings and specimens muddled later on, but her plates are nonetheless impressive in their meticulousness and striving for accuracy.

The income from your ticket contributes directly to The Royal Collection Trust, a registered charity. The aims of The Royal Collection Trust are the care and conservation of the Royal Collection, and the promotion of access and enjoyment through exhibitions, publications, loans and educational activities.