At 22, she married artist Johann
Andreas Graff and moved to Nuremberg where she continued
to pursue her career as a professional artist, teaching,
painting, and publishing. From 1675 to 1680 her first
self-published and marketed in three volumes of 12 drawings each.
The illustrations were intended to be used as models
for painting and embroidery patterns.
Sibylla Merian was born in Frankfurt am Main, Germany on
April 4, 1647. Her father, engraver and topographical
artist Matthaeus Merian the Elder, died when she was
three, but the family moved in artistic circles and when
her mother remarried, it was to another artist. Jacob
Marell, her step-father, taught her engraving and painting.
Her interest in science was already evident at the age
of 13 when she cultivated silkworms and made observations
on their lifecycle.
published between 1675 and 1680, Merian told readers of the New Book
of Flowers, that the inclusion of nature in art was “spontaneous
and graceful,” but beyond that, these early images provide evidence
of Merian’s early, personal interest in metamorphosis.
Der Raupen Wunderbare Verwandlung und Sonderbare Blumennahrung (The
Wondrous Transformation of Caterpillars) was republished in 1683,
and again in 1717 by her daughter Dorothea in a memorial edition. This
reprint from the 1991 Dover Publications edition shows an uncolored copperplate