No. CXV “Melissa”


Maria Sibylla Merian (1647 – 1717)
No. CXV “Melissa” (1730)


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Maria Sibylla Merian was a German artist and entomologist who studied plants and insects and made detailed drawings of them. As far as is known, she was the first to draw the insects along with the plant they feed on.

Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandlung und sonderbare Blumennahrung (also known as the Caterpillar Book) is her second work. The first two volumes appeared in German in 1679 and 1683. The book received great scholarly interest and made Merian famous. The work was eventually reprinted in 1730 in Dutch(De Europische insecten) and French(Histoire des insectes de l’Europe).

  • image: this copper engraving from Histoire des insectes de l’Europe shows the developmental stages (egg, caterpillar, pupa) of various butterfly species arranged in a closed cycle around a plant that serves as food
  • year: 1730
  • quality: excellent
  • signed: no
  • image size: 15.4 x 11.6 cm | 6.1 x 4.6 in (h x w)
  • sheet or frame size: 19.3 x 16.1 cm | 7.6 x 6.3 in (h x w)

18th century


copper engraving





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