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Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Maria Sibylla Merian is one of the most celebrated natural scientists of her age. She was born in Frankfurt, the daughter of Matthias Merian, a successful printmaker. After her father’s death in 1650, her mother married the still-life artist Jacob Marrel, who taught the young Merian to paint flowers in watercolour. From an early age, Merian also pursued a fascination with the insect life cycle, then only partially understood.

Ninety-four works by Merian and her daughters are in the Royal Collection. These include luxury versions of the plates from her important publication on the insects of Suriname (Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, 1705).

The works were acquired by George III as part of his large scientific library.

Here you can explore all the works by Merian in the Collection.


Objects associated with Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)