A Pioneering Woman of Science Re‑Emerges After 300 Years
by JoAnna Klein
Maria Sibylla Merian, a German-born woman living in the Netherlands, had a successful career as an artist, botanist, naturalist and entomologist. Maria Sibylla Merian, like many European women of the 17th century, stayed busy managing a household and rearing children. But on top of that, Merian, a German-born woman who lived in the Netherlands, also managed a successful career as an artist, botanist, naturalist and entomologist.
After years of pleasing a captivated audience across Europe with books of detailed descriptions and life-size paintings of familiar insects, in 1699 she sailed with her daughter nearly 5,000 miles from the Netherlands to South America to study insects in the jungles of what is now known as Suriname. She was 52. The result was her magnum opus, “Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium.”
[Further reading here in The New York Times, 23 January 2017]