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Flower Painting and Insect Metamorphosis: The Art of Maria Sibylla Merian

The lecture examines the colorful and dynamic still life paintings made by the 17th-century German artist Maria Sibylla Merian. Featuring botanicals and insect metamorphosis from Northern Europe and South America, the talk introduces the artwork of an important precursor to the Impressionists. In Merian’s era, scientific discoveries were fueled by the quest to find and depict flora and fauna previously unknown in Europe. Merian’s explorations took her to the Dutch colony of Suriname in South America, where, at the age of 52, she was the first to study insect transformation of this foreign land. The lecture traces geographical and scientific explorations, artistic innovations, and great entrepreneurial efforts of this remarkable woman.

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