Maria Sibylla Merian was born in 1647 into a world where many believed that insects came from “a spontaneous generation of rotting mud”. Her obsessive fascination with the natural world led her at the age of 52 to sell 200 of her paintings to finance a trip to Surinam.
There she produced a series of exquisite drawings and paintings detailing the insect world she saw before her and in so doing revolutionised the study of insects.This print is a collage of her Surinam studies.
As a woman her work wasn't always recognised. Whilst in Dutch Guyana she drew a spider eating a hummingbird, which was ridiculed as ‘a flight of female fancy’ until over 200 years later when an English naturalist observed the same phenomenon.