TEACHER, ARTIST, RESEARCHER, AUTHOR
MARIA SIBYLLA MERIAN WAS A SPECIALIST IN SEVERAL DIFFERENT PROFESSIONS:
SHE TRAINED HER FEMALE PUPILS IN DRAWING, HAND-COLOURING AND EMBROIDERY.
SHE PAINTED FLOWERS AND BUTTERFLIES IN FASCINATING WATERCOLOURS.
SHE DREW AND DESCRIBED MANY PLANTS AND ANIMALS IN PRECISE DETAIL.
SHE PUBLISHED HER EXTENSIVE KNOWLEDGE IN WORDS AND IMAGES.
Stages in her Life
1647: Birth in Frankfurt
1665: Marriage to the Nuremberg artist Johann Andreas Graff
1668: Birth of the first daughter and relocation to Nuremberg
1678: Birth of the second daughter
1682: Move from Nuremberg to Frankfurt
1686: Move to Friesland to join a religious community
1691: Relocation to Amsterdam
1699 bis 1701: Expedition to Surinam in South America
1705: Publication of her masterpiece about the tropics in Surinam with many exotic plants and animals
1717: Death in Amsterdam
Coloured copper print, the title page of the Second Caterpillar Book
HER TIME AS A MARRIED WOMAN, MRS. GRÄFFIN
with many advantages for her career in Nuremberg:
- as a city of education with good schools, many professional training facilities and its own University
- as a city of knowledge with public and private libraries and many then new books on the natural sciences
- as a city of arts with an academy for visual arts that still exists today
- as a city of collections of natural objects, such as dried plants, stones, shells or preserved butterflies, in the famous "Cabinets of Curiosities" (Wunderkammern)
- as a city of garden culture with hundreds of family gardens and rare plants
- as a city with opportunities for immigrants and women
Life cycle of a butterfly (metamorphosis), details of a copper print by Merian