144 pages, 70 colour & b/w illustrations
A woman ahead of her time, Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) was an intrepid explorer, naturalist and scholar, as well as a magnificent artist. This lovely, impeccably designed book tells Merian's incredible life story alongside colourful reproductions of her engravings and watercolours of the butterflies she encountered during her lifetime in Germany and the Netherlands and her seminal trip to the Dutch colony of Surinam.
A Butterfly Journey recounts Merian's monumental expedition, her work as an advocate for the slave laborers of Surinam and her important studies of the anatomy and life cycle of the butterfly. Author Boris Friedewald employs Merian's favourite insect as a metaphor for the artist's own pioneering evolution from budding entomologist to educator, activist and artist. A visual treasure as well as a satisfying read, this exquisite volume is the perfect gift for anyone interested in Merian's amazing life and groundbreaking body of work.
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Boris Friedewald is an art historian based in Berlin. His most recent book is Picasso's Animals (Prestel).