Enfilade

New Book | Maria Sibylla Merian: Changing the Nature of Art and Science

Posted in books by Editor on August 11, 2022

Coming soon, with distribution by ACC Art Books:

Marieke van Delft, Kay Etheridge, Hans Mulder, Bert van de Roemer, and Florence Pieters, Maria Sibylla Merian: Changing the Nature of Art and Science (Tielt: Lannoo: 2022), 304 pages, ISBN: 978-9401485333, $70.

The revolutionary artist and naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) has come into the spotlight in recent years. The life and work of this German-born woman, who would later settle in the Netherlands, has been studied internationally by entomologists, botanists and historians and are a source of inspiration for contemporary artists and writers. In 2016, Lannoo Publishers, in collaboration with the Koninklijke Bibliotheek, republished her masterpiece Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium as a facsimile. This well-illustrated book assembles the most recent scientific knowledge about this remarkable woman. The authors examine, among other things, Merian’s pioneering work on the reproduction and development of insects, the methods and materials she used for her work, her remarkable journey to Suriname, her network of family, friends and patrons, and her widespread influence on the history of art and science. Her work is compared to that of early modern and contemporary artists and scientists

This book gathers essays by of 23 international experts, most of whom are connected to the international Maria Sibylla Merian Society. The editorial team consists of Marieke van Delft, Kay Etheridge, Hans Mulder, Bert van de Roemer, and Florence Pieters.

Online Talk | Kay Etheridge on Maria Sibylla Merian

Posted in lectures (to attend), online learning by Editor on August 11, 2022

Part of this fall’s offerings from Smithsonian Associates:

Kay Etheridge | Maria Sibylla Merian: A Biologist to the Bone
Online, Smithsonian Associates, Thursday, 17 November 2022, 6.45pm

Maria Sibylla Merian, Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium (The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname), plate 31 (Amsterdam, 1705).

The aesthetic appeal of the images created by Maria Sibylla Merian (1647–1717) has led history to label her as an artist who painted and etched natural history subjects. However, Merian was as passionate a naturalist (biologist in modern terms) as Charles Darwin or Carl Linnaeus, and like all scientists, she was impelled by her curiosity about nature. Merian was the first person to spend decades studying the relationships of insects and plants, and her work revolutionized what came to be the field of ecology. Kay Etheridge, professor emeritus of biology at Gettysburg College, draws on Merian’s own words to consider her motivations in the context of her time and place, and discusses Merian’s body of work in comparison to that of her near-contemporaries working in natural history. $20 (members) / $25 (nonmembers).

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