Chrysalis: Maria Sibylla Merian and the Secrets of Metamorphosis
Why this book?
This book details the life of sixteenth/seventeenth-century naturalist and artist Maria Sibylla Merian. A woman incredibly ahead of her time, her detailed illustrations and hand-painted etchings depicted the life cycles of insects and animals in their habitats she encountered both at home and in her travels to Dutch Surinam. Her early contributions to the field of entomology are recognized to this day and reading about a woman of that era traveling independently, undertaking scientific study, and publishing her work is both fascinating and inspiring. Merian’s work is exquisite, and I definitely consider her unique work as inspiration for my own. I had the opportunity to see some of her large hand-painted etchings at the National Museum of Women in the Arts on a trip to Washington, DC a few years ago.