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Maria Sibylla Merian: Insects of Surinam Hardcover – October 1, 2009

7 customer reviews
ISBN-13: 978-3822852781 ISBN-10: 3822852783 Edition: Mul

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Editorial Reviews

About the Author

Katharina Schmidt-Loske studied biology in Münster, Bonn and Frankfurt am Main, with a focus on insects and reptiles, and has worked as a book illustrator. She earned her doctorate at the University of Bonn with a dissertation titled Die Tierwelt der Maria Sibylla Merian (The Fauna of Maria Sibylla Merian), which was published in 2007. Since 2008 is director of the Biohistoricum at the Museum Koenig in Bonn.
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Product Details

  • Hardcover: 192 pages
  • Publisher: TASCHEN America Llc; Mul edition (October 1, 2009)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 3822852783
  • ISBN-13: 978-3822852781
  • Product Dimensions: 13.6 x 10.1 x 1 inches
  • Shipping Weight: 3.4 pounds
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (7 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #1,096,243 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

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Most Helpful Customer Reviews

26 of 26 people found the following review helpful By Alan Hooker on January 24, 2010
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Although there is a great deal on literature available on the art of Maria Sybilla Merian, and particularly on the work which resulted from her trip in 1698 to the portion of Central and South America which was then a Dutch colony, this relatively straightforward and clearly written volume seems to fill a gap. Much of the existing literature is excellent and informative; however a good deal of it is lavishly produced and quite costly, and some of it is only suitable for use by scholars in this field. I think this relatively small book performs several useful functions: it is a good introduction to Merian's best-known work for the general reader; for the potential collector of these illustrations it shows clearly the color plates which one might look for and how they should appear (omitting 12 illustrations appearing in the second edition of the Surinam book which are generally believed not to have been completed by Sybilla Merian); and for the professional colorist it is a dependable guide to the specific colors utilized by Ms. Merian in the drawings which formed the basis for the copper engravings pictured in this book. I think it offers good value to readers in each of these categories. Of course collectors of natural history or other printed illustrations should acquire basic knowledge about the properties of the particular medium (such as wood cut or copper engraving, lithograph, silk screen, etc.) of a proposed purchase to avoid forgeries or inferior examples.
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4 of 5 people found the following review helpful By David B Richman on September 1, 2012
Format: Hardcover
Maria Sibylla Merian was a remarkable women, especially for her time (17th - early 18th Centuries). Interested in both art and insects (especially the metamorphosis of insects), as well as flowering plants, from an early age, she pursued her subject first from Germany (where she was born) through the Netherlands to Surinam in northern South America (at the age of 53!) and back to the Netherlands. Ill from her stay in Surinam, she returned to Europe after only two years of a planned four year period and finally published her "Insects of Surinam." Her daughters kept up the tradition.

The current volume contains a large sampling of her work in a beautifully produced volume published by Taschen. Katharina Schmidt Loske provides an excellent sketch of Merian's life and commentary on each one of the plates. I recommend this beautiful volume to anyone interested in the history of natural science, art, or the historical context. It is one of the best publications of its kind.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful By Sadie on April 23, 2013
Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
When I came across Merian's name and work I was spellbound. This very independent curious woman traveled
to South America with one of her daughters in the late 1600 to 1700's. She did not catch butterflies and stick them
with a pin to a board, rather watched the caterpillar to see what it would become. Patiently watched the spinning
of the cocoon and then waited for the miracle. Her illustrations are amazing. This is a treasure.
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Format: Hardcover Verified Purchase
Many large and most beautiful coloured plates with commentaries together with the interesting introduction make it to
an outstanding book of art.

Unfortunately this brand new book,factory sealed, was received with all the four angles of the hard cover bend, due to
unprofessional packing oft he seller.
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