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Clara En Onderkruipsels at Rijksmuseum [Amsterdam]

Clara En Onderkruipsels (roughly transalted as Creepy-Crawlies)

30th September 2022 – 15th January 2023

This exhibition is focused on small animals such as insects, spiders, lizards and toads, which have historically endured a bad reputation. In the Middle Ages they were mainly associated with death and the Devil. But in the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries their beauty began to be appreciated: such onderkruipsels became the subject of scientific study, as fascinating examples of the work of God in the ‘Book of Nature’. The artist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian made a major contribution to the understanding of the reproductive cycles of insects (especially butterflies and moths) and amphibians. The three coloured drawings by Merian lent from the Royal Collection to this exhibition are among the most important examples of her work.

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