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In those years, Europe was full of bonfires committed to make a clean sweep of witches. At the same time a young scientist: Sybilla Merian, daughter of the well-known German engraver Matthaeus Merian, was instead committed to studying, and illustrating the microscopic world of insects, caterpillars and butterflies and the little bigger world of flowers, plants and animals. The wonderful metamorphosis of caterpillars was the basis of her best work: Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium, published in Amsterdam in 1705. The work carried out by Sibylla Merian is fantastic. Indeed, during that time, it was unusual to deal with insects – the beasts of Satan. Her drawings of plants, snakes, spiders, iguanas and tropical beetles are still considered masterpieces and are sought-after by collectors around the world. Another great master, the English entomologist Moses Harris, contributed to complete the volume with his interesting engravings.
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Luca Stefano Cristini (Bergamo 1958) is an Italian historian, and historical illustrator with a particular interest in the XVII century history (principally the 30-years war). He is also the editorial manager of Soldiershop publishing, an Italian publishing company specializing in military and illustrated history. He currently lives near Bergamo in North Italy.
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