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Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Pineapple with Cockroaches 1702-03

RCIN 921156

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Pineapples had recently been cultivated for the first time in Europe, but the fruit grew abundantly in the wild in Suriname. Merian made this the first plate of the Metamorphosis, noting that this was because the pineapple was ‘the most outstanding of all edible fruits’. This image shows the pineapple in flower, accompanied by the cockroaches that fascinated Merian as much as the exotic plant.