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Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium 1726 Edition (ORIGINAL COLOR)

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Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium 1771 Edition

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The image gallery for the 1726 edition is current. We are currently updating the images for the 1771 edition. Please refer to the plate listing and contact the gallery for images.

In June of 1699, the artist-naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian departed from Amsterdam, along with her daughter Dorothea Maria, on a arduous journey to the Dutch colony of Surinam on the northeastern coast of South America.  There she would observe the insect world and the plants that inextricably connected to their life process.  In 1705, two small editions were published, with 60 engraved plates, in Latin and Dutch.  Financial success finally came, but too late.  On the day Maria died, Tsar Peter the Great concluded a transaction with her to purchase a two-volume collection of unbound paintings, as well as her journal of studies, Studienbuch.  

In all, three editions of Merian's Metamorphosis were published.  The later two include 12 additional plates.  Examples of Metamorphosis in good condition with original color are extremely rare.

Prices range from $900-$18,000 


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