Sibylla Maria Merian (1647 - 1717)
The Art Needlepoint
"Marie Sibille Merian (1647-1717) was a remarkable woman, passionately interested in insects and their transformations.She was a fine painter and superb naturalist, one of the first woman scientists we know of. Her observations of insects and their relationships with plants revolutionized botany and zoology. Metamorphosis of a Frog is a beautiful piece to work in a variety of stitches or combination of threads. Measures 11" x 16" on 14 mesh mono deluxe needlepoint canvas. We are happy to select and add appropriate wool, pearle cotton or silk threads to help complete. "
The J. Paul Getty Museum
"Maria Sibylla Merian was born in 1647 in Frankfurt, Germany, into a middle-class family of publishers and artists. Her father, Matthäus Merian the Elder, published some of the most influential natural history texts of the 1600s.
Merian's stepfather, Jakob Marrel, had been trained by the artist and art dealer Georg Flegel (see image above). He introduced the young Merian to the art of miniature flower painting against her mother's will. Merian learned how to draw, mix paints, paint in watercolor, and make prints alongside Marrel's male pupils.
Merian's interest in insects was stimulated by the practice of silkworm breeding that was introduced by Frankfurt's silk trade. She began to observe caterpillars, moths, and butterflies, and by the age of 13 she had already observed the metamorphosis of a silkworm—a discovery that pre-dated published accounts by almost ten years....
... In 1699, after selling most of her belongings, she set sail for the Dutch colony of Suriname with her younger daughter, Dorothea Maria. Maria Sibylla was 52, Dorothea Maria 21.
The jungles of South America were teeming with live specimens, which Merian studied for her most important publication, The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname (known as The Insects of Suriname). Merian's experiences in the city of Paramaribo are expressed in her accounts of vibrant butterflies, voracious caterpillars and ants, exotic fruits and vegetables, menacing reptiles, and treacherous explorations into the jungle. Her observations about the local climate, the use of plants and animals, and the Dutch colonists' treatment of slaves provide some of the earliest accounts of life in Suriname."
Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis [Hardcover]