Adventurous Spirit: Maria Sibylla Merian
[Maria Sibylla Merian, circa 1700–1710, Watercolor on vellum]
Somehow not limited by the usual 17th century constraints, artist Maria Sibylla Merian achieved remarkable feats for her era. She was born into a middle-class German family of publishers and artists, and had a childhood fascination with butterflies. This passion led Merian to South America, where she spent two years studying, observing, and making watercolors for her masterwork The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname.
[Maria Sibylla Merian, circa 1665, Watercolor on vellum]
Currently on view at The Getty is an exhibition, Maria Sibylla Merian & Daughters: Women of Art and Science, that highlights her accomplishments in art, science and business. I think some of you textile designers might find her work inspiring -- sort of a precursor to Josef Frank.
[Maria Sibylla Merian, circa 1705, Watercolor over partial transfer print on vellum in The Insects of Suriname, The Royal Collection © 2008 Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II]
[Maria Sibylla Merian, circa 1680, Hand-colored engraving in The New Book of Flowers, Trustees of the Natural History Museum, London]
Josef Frank pillow available through Beautiful Pillows.