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Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Frangipani plant with Red Cracker Butterfly

1702-03

RCIN 921161

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Merian had seen Frangipani plants in the Amsterdam botanical garden, but the Red Cracker Butterfly (Hamadryas amphinome) was entirely new to her and she was delighted with its appearance. She told her readers that, through a magnifying glass, ‘it looks wonderfully beautiful and is worth studying in detail, for its beauty cannot be described in words’.