Maria Sibylla Merian - Artist, Scientist and Adventurer
Lecturer: Twigs Way
Location: DESY rooms 4a/4b
Page XXIII from Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamen
Kolorierter Kupferstich aus Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, Bildtafel XXIII. Solanum mammosum 1705. Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)
Most famous for her botanical and entomological illustrations, Maria Sibylla Merian was one of the most extraordinary women of the 17th century. Born into a family of artists, she became fascinated with the life cycle of caterpillars and moths, disproving the then common belief that they were created from mud. Leaving behind her marriage and her work as a successful flower painter, she sailed to Surinam in pursuit of rarities of flora and fauna, and produced the famous `Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium'. Her illustrations were sought by collectors and royalty throughout Europe, whilst her scientific observations stunned the world.
Twigs is a garden historian, author, researcher and lecturer. She presented Lost Gardens for Channel 4 and has appeared on Gardeners' World as well as making media appearances on a wide range of garden history related topics. She carries out freelance research in the history of specific gardens and parks for bodies such as English Heritage, the National Trust and various private clients, and has a specific interest in the portrayal of plants and gardens in art and literature and the social aspects of garden history. Her publications include A History of Women in the Garden, the highly illustrated A Nation of Gardeners, and a short biography of Gertrude Jekyll, as well as the quirky History of Garden Gnomes! She is currently working on the Eighteenth Century Diaries of the Marchioness Grey of Wrest Park and is also involved in the 2016 tercentenary celebrations of one of our greatest landscape designers Lancelot 'Capability' Brown.
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