A report by Gabriel Sewell for ILAB.
Maria Sibylla Merian was brought up in Protestant Frankfurt, the youngest daughter of Matthäus Merian, a Swiss-born printmaker and draughtsman. Matthäus owned a flourishing publishing house that specialised in lavishly illustrated books. Following his death in 1650, Merian’s mother married still-life painter Jacob Marrell who encouraged his stepdaughter’s talent. As a young girl Maria Sibylla Merian painted flowers, before becoming obsessed with caterpillars and how they metamorphosed into moths and butterflies.
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