Maria Sibylla Merian’s ‘Over de voortteeling en wonderbaerlyke veranderingen der Surinaemsche insecten’ (1705) is without a doubt one of the most beautiful natural history books in the world and is considered a masterpiece. One of the original handcoloured editions is part of the collection of the Allard Pierson. Merian (Frankfurt am Main 1647 – Amsterdam 1717) traveled to Surinam with her daughter in 1699 to study the reproduction and development of insects and caterpillars. She was not only a talented artist but an exceptional scientist as well.
“(Eugenia uniflora) Here I show the American cherries that do not match our European cherries in taste. They have white and red flowers. The trees do not grow any bigger than the smallest cherry trees in Holland or Germany.
I only found two of this yellow caterpillar, one of which still died and the other turned me into a green pupa on April 20, from which such a beautiful large chapel emerged on May 26”.
From “Metamorphosis – Insectorum Surinamensium” by Maria Sibylla Merian
This print of the West Indian cherry was printed with Canons innovative 12-color LUCIA PRO-ink on high quality 180 gram paper. The print is highly uv proof and waterproof.
Allard Pierson Museum
The Allard Pierson shares the collections of the University of Amsterdam with visitors and scholars. The museum presents 10,000 years of cultural history, from the Nile to the Amstel River. Internationally renowned collections in the areas of archaeology, the history of books, Jewish culture, church history, cartography, literature, graphic design and zoology make this one of the leading heritage collections in Europe.
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