Merian, Maria Sybilla (1647-1717) Histoire Generale des Insectes de Surinam et Toute L'Europe
Merian, Maria Sybilla (1647-1717) Histoire Generale des Insectes de Surinam et Toute L'Europe. Paris: Desnos, 1771.
Large folio, two parts in one volume, hand-colored added engraved title, part one with seventy-two full-page plates, five of which are folding, all hand-colored; part two illustrated with 184 hand-colored copper-plates printed on forty-seven leaves; very good condition throughout, in full speckled calfskin, rebacked, with gilt-tooled spines and boards, rebacked; some pages very neatly mended; all plates with bright hand-coloring; ownership stamp, "Que Croire" on both titles, 19 1/2 x 12 1/4 in.
Maria Sybilla Merian was a trained artist who travelled to South America to draw and paint the plants, reptiles, and especially the insects she found there. Her curiosity in the world of entomology was stimulated when she was still young. She was fascinated by the activities of the silkworms she saw in her native Germany. Her observational, scientific, and artistic abilities allowed her to gather and disseminate new knowledge about the habits and life cycles of many new world insects. Her images are stunning on compositional and technical grounds, and also valuable for their contributions to science.
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