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Maria Merian's Butterflies

A beautifully produced collection of Maria Merian's natural history drawings

Kate Heard

With contributions by Dr George McGavin

192 pages

Every page of this book is a history lesson. If you are an admirer of Merian’s work, this book provides you the opportunity to study her paintings up close ... If this is your first introduction to Merian and her contributions to entomology and natural history art, this book is sure to turn you into a fan of this fearless and passionate naturalist.

Art Plantae

Cover jacket of Maria Merian's Butterflies©

Hardback, 190 x 150 mm, 200 colour illustrations
ISBN 978 1 909741 31 7
German and Japanese rights sold

Please note, due to the publication date this catalogue may contain outdated terminology. Updated object records can be viewed on Collection Online.

In 1699, the German entomologist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian set sail for Suriname, in South America. There she would produce a series of beautiful and scientifically accurate illustrations of the natural world which she encountered. These drawings, in which Merian aimed to explore the life-cycle of insects (then only partially understood), led to the publication of the Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, a luxury volume which brought the wonders of the wildlife of Suriname to Europe.

Maria Merian's Butterflies tells Merian’s story through her works in the Royal Collection. Over three-hundred years after they were made, these meticulous, brilliant works celebrate a woman whose art and whose story are enduringly popular.

Kate Heard is Senior Curator of Prints and Drawings, Royal Collection Trust. Her other publications include George IV: Art & Spectacle, The First Georgians: Art & Monarchy 1714–1760 and High Spirits: The Comic Art of Thomas Rowlandson

Maria Merian's Butterflies
The life of artist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian through her works in the Royal Collection

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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.