366 years ago today, Maria Sibylla Merian was born. Merian was a 17th century German-born naturalist, entomologist, botanical illustrator, and divorced mother of two daughters, Johanna Helena and Dorothea Maria. Her drawings and paintings are beautiful, and she used them as a way to get her daughters involved and interested in science. The connections she made between art and science are truly amazing and inspiring.
During her time, women that could afford to paint, were expected to do so in a delicate, pretty and quiet manner. She did more than create "pretty" pictures; she used her paintings as a way to not only educate her daughters, but also to pay the bills to give them a roof over their heads. She also innovated the natural illustration. She was one of the first to add insects along with the flora specimens. She brought her work into her home and studied entire life cycles, becoming one of the earliest archivists of the natural world. Her daughters followed in her footsteps and began studying the natural world around them, and documenting it through art. This is a family that I wish I could have met.
“Enterprising and adventurous, these women raised the artistic standards of natural history illustration and helped transform the field of entomology...” -The Getty Museum Website
Words and Stuff.
Here you will find Kim's musings, thoughts on art related topics and the most current updates on her work.