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Insect Metamorphism Poster

A223 Insect Metamorphosis
Anna Maria Sibylla Merian created incredible biological illustrations.  Each of her masterpieces shows the larva, pupa and a mature specimen of the same insect.  All are on an exotic plant, complete with foliage, flowers and fruit.  The most amazing thing about these magnificent illustrations is that she created them over 300 years ago and since then they have not been surpassed in either beauty or scientific accuracy.  Most of her original paintings were purchase by Peter the Great and are on display in Russia's famous Hermitage Museum.  This title shows nine of her most outstanding works.  Introductory text explains the subject and captions for each illustration cite the specifics. An inset tells the fascinating story of this remarkable lady, who was so many, many years ahead of her time. 
    The pursuit of her work in Suriname was an unusual endeavor, especially for a woman. In general, men traveled in the colonies to find insects, make collections and to work there, or to settle. Scientific expeditions at this period of time were almost totally unknown and the work of Merian raised many eyebrows. She succeeded, however, in discovering a whole range of previously unknown animals and plants in the interior of Surinam. Merian spent time studying and classifying her findings and described them in great detail. Her classification of butterflies and moths is still relevant today. She used Native American names to refer to the plants, which became used in Europe: