Maria Sibylla Merian
In 1660, at the age of thirteen, Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717) began her study of butterfly metamorphosis—years before any other scientist published an accurate description of the process. Later, Merian and her daughter ventured thousands of miles from their home in the Netherlands to the rainforests of South America seeking new and amazing insects to observe and illustrate.     Years after her death, Merian’s accurate and beautiful illustrations were used by scientists, including Carl Linnaeus, to classify species, and today her prints and paintings are prized by museums around the world. More than a dozen species of plants and animals are named after Merian.     The first Merian biography written for ages 10 and up, this book will enchant budding scientists and artists alike. Readers will be inspired by Merian’s talent, curiosity, and grit and will be swept up in the story of her life, which was adventurous even by today’s standards.     With its lively text, quotations from Merian’s own study book, and fascinating sidebars on history, art, and science, this volume is an ideal STEAM title for readers of all ages and interests.

Maria Sibylla Merian Details

TitleMaria Sibylla Merian
Author
ReleaseFeb 13th, 2018
PublisherHarry N. Abrams
ISBN-139781947440012
Rating
GenreBiography, Science, History, Nonfiction, Art, Environment, Nature

Maria Sibylla Merian Review

  • Storyheart
    January 1, 1970
    I enjoyed this gorgeously illustrated and clearly written biography of the 17th century scientist, artist and explorer Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the greatest botanical artists of all time.Aimed at a young adult audience, this book places her life and scientific work in historical context that will interest budding naturalists and artists of any age and is an excellent inspiration for young women who are interested in pursuing a career in natural sciences. Recommended. I received a copy of thi I enjoyed this gorgeously illustrated and clearly written biography of the 17th century scientist, artist and explorer Maria Sibylla Merian, one of the greatest botanical artists of all time.Aimed at a young adult audience, this book places her life and scientific work in historical context that will interest budding naturalists and artists of any age and is an excellent inspiration for young women who are interested in pursuing a career in natural sciences. Recommended. I received a copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for a fair review.
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  • Laura (Book Scrounger)
    January 1, 1970
    I had never heard of Maria Sibylla Merian before, so this was a very interesting intoduction to her life and work. Merian was born in Germany in 1647, and spent her later life in Amsterdam, Holland. This book chronicles her artistic development as well as her scientific exploration. Her specialty was insects -- she would observe all the insects she could find and take notes on their life cycles. She also painted detailed, scientifically accurate pictures of many many insects and plants.Around 17 I had never heard of Maria Sibylla Merian before, so this was a very interesting intoduction to her life and work. Merian was born in Germany in 1647, and spent her later life in Amsterdam, Holland. This book chronicles her artistic development as well as her scientific exploration. Her specialty was insects -- she would observe all the insects she could find and take notes on their life cycles. She also painted detailed, scientifically accurate pictures of many many insects and plants.Around 1700, she and her daughter made a scientific voyage to Surinam to study, paint, and collect specimens of native plants and animals, something that was unheard of for a woman in those days -- as the book says, she was a woman "far ahead of her time." She and her daughters published several volumes of paintings, some of which ended up in the collections of the Russian Academy of Sciences.This book includes many of her paintings (with detailed captions explaining the plants and animals in each one) as well as an overview of Maria Sibylla Merian's legacy at the end -- she's had several organisms named in her honor since her death. The book also includes a glossary and bibliography.It is inspiring to read about the ways that scientific curiosity and exploration have compelled people (mostly men in those days) to observe, explore, and carefully record the world around them, even long before modern scientific framework or conveniences. It's especially inspiring to read about a woman doing the same thing even when it went against the social expectations of the day.(Thanks to NetGalley for the review copy.)
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  • Cassandra
    January 1, 1970
    This book is beautiful! The biography was very interesting also, but the images were what really made me like this book so very much! I love that this was written for ages 10+. I plan on having my 11-year-old daughter take a look at this book. I have a feeling we will be buying the physical book. The images will surely be even more beautiful in book format rather than on my computer. I was not familiar with the name Maria Sibylla Merian until now, but I will be researching her and looking to lea This book is beautiful! The biography was very interesting also, but the images were what really made me like this book so very much! I love that this was written for ages 10+. I plan on having my 11-year-old daughter take a look at this book. I have a feeling we will be buying the physical book. The images will surely be even more beautiful in book format rather than on my computer. I was not familiar with the name Maria Sibylla Merian until now, but I will be researching her and looking to learn more about her and her life
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  • Becky B
    January 1, 1970
    A biography of artist Maria Sibylla Merian, born in 1647, showing how she developed a scientific study of insects and other creatures centuries ahead of her time that provided groundbreaking knowledge. Her careful observations connected the multiple stages in the lives of many butterflies and moths, and her illustrations and studies in Surinam brought the Americas to Europe in vibrant color. The book is full of reproductions of Maria Sibylla's amazing illustrations.This book is incredibly well-r A biography of artist Maria Sibylla Merian, born in 1647, showing how she developed a scientific study of insects and other creatures centuries ahead of her time that provided groundbreaking knowledge. Her careful observations connected the multiple stages in the lives of many butterflies and moths, and her illustrations and studies in Surinam brought the Americas to Europe in vibrant color. The book is full of reproductions of Maria Sibylla's amazing illustrations.This book is incredibly well-researched and is related in a more scholarly style for middle grade and young adult students. I love that they were able to use Maria Sibylla's actual illustrations throughout the book. That really helps to bring the woman to life. I had never heard of her before, but she made some major contributions to science and scientific art in a time when women really didn't have much of a place in the world. She was also rather adventurous for her time, venturing to Surinam from Europe and back to observe the creatures there. It is amazing to realize that she pre-dated Linneaus and that he actually used her works to classify several organisms. In all, a fantastic biography of a woman who made some major contributions to science over 300 years ago!No content issues.I received an ARC of this title from the publisher through NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
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  • Den
    January 1, 1970
    I am reviewing this book for Sarah B. Pomeroy, Jeyaraney Kathirithamby, Getty Publishers, and NetGalley who gave me a copy of their book for an honest review. Never heard of this great woman but this book was a great eye opener – loved the biography but the marvellous drawings did it for me – what a fantastic book. I could sit and look at the pictures again and again
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  • Sarah
    January 1, 1970
    I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating biography which includes many of Merian’s paintings and also writings from her journals and books. Merian was an interesting person, and her accomplishments were incredible feats.Merian studied butterfly metamorphosis long before anyone else, and her scientifically accurate paintings were used by Carl Linnaeus to classify species he had never seen.This is actually a biography written for children, which I didn’t realize at first, but I still enjoyed it and l I thoroughly enjoyed this fascinating biography which includes many of Merian’s paintings and also writings from her journals and books. Merian was an interesting person, and her accomplishments were incredible feats.Merian studied butterfly metamorphosis long before anyone else, and her scientifically accurate paintings were used by Carl Linnaeus to classify species he had never seen.This is actually a biography written for children, which I didn’t realize at first, but I still enjoyed it and learned a lot. It’s a great introduction to this woman and her work, which I knew nothing about. The book is well-written, fast-paced, beautifully-designed, and gives a good overview of Merian’s life and greatest accomplishments.One thing I learned was how art was produced back in those days. I had no idea all the work that was involved in painting a picture. Paint had to be mixed by hand from any number of natural materials gathered from all over the world. It was difficult to get the paint to just the right shade of color and just the right consistency. These facts make me appreciate the art of that time even more.
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  • Gaby F.
    January 1, 1970
    What a fascinating biography: When I saw the intricate drawings of flowers and butterflies in all stages of their life cycle, I knew I had seen prints of them before. I just did not know who made them. It is ironic that growing up in Germany I never heard about the studies of Maria Sybilla Merian. As a young girl and later as a woman she was way ahead of her time, applying the scientific method to her work and even travelling for her studies. She lived in a time when most of the girls did not re What a fascinating biography: When I saw the intricate drawings of flowers and butterflies in all stages of their life cycle, I knew I had seen prints of them before. I just did not know who made them. It is ironic that growing up in Germany I never heard about the studies of Maria Sybilla Merian. As a young girl and later as a woman she was way ahead of her time, applying the scientific method to her work and even travelling for her studies. She lived in a time when most of the girls did not receive much of any formal education and people could be happy to be able to read and write. She was fortunate to be surrounded by an artistic family where she developed her artistic skills and was able to take her time to study nature. This book is wonderful for students grades 5 to 8 and can be used in language arts, science, history and art classes. It belongs in every middle school library. Maria Sybilla Merian sticks out because she lived in a time where mostly men made history. It is about time that we learn more about her. The book is very inspiring.
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  • Sammm
    January 1, 1970
    A digitized ARC of this book was provided by the publisher via NetGalley in exchange for an honest review.
  • Jennifer Ward
    January 1, 1970
    This is an excerpt of a review was originally published on my website: Miss Jenny's ClassroomThis book is a detailed biography of Maria and in part her family as well. Maria, the daughter and step-daughter, of two talented artists grew up surrounded by art. From an early age Maria learnt how to mix paints, prepare canvases, and eventually developed her own artistic style. Originally basing her artworks on her step-father’s still life paintings she began observing insects in detail and documentin This is an excerpt of a review was originally published on my website: Miss Jenny's ClassroomThis book is a detailed biography of Maria and in part her family as well. Maria, the daughter and step-daughter, of two talented artists grew up surrounded by art. From an early age Maria learnt how to mix paints, prepare canvases, and eventually developed her own artistic style. Originally basing her artworks on her step-father’s still life paintings she began observing insects in detail and documenting not only their appearance but also their life-cycles. Throughout her life, including marriage and children, Maria continued to explore and expand upon the world’s knowledge of insects through her study.I had never heard of Maria before seeing this book. It is quite apparent as you read through this book just how exceptional she was for her time in many different ways. She was clearly very dedicated to becoming an artist in her own right, a scientist and entomologist. This is a book that would work in a classroom looking at a variety of topics including women in history, scientists, evolution of scientific processes, observation and documentation in science,
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  • Andréa
    January 1, 1970
    Note: I received a digital review copy of this book from the publisher through NetGalley.
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