In this twentieth edition of the botanical calendars and diaries, the Aboca Museum offers collectors and nature lovers a number of evocative images from an early eighteenth-century naturalistic masterpiece, Over de Voortteeling en wonderbaerlyke veranderingen der Surinaemsche insecten... (On the generation and wonderful metamorphosis of the insects of Surinam...) illustrated, engraved and finely painted in watercolour by the illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian.
The plates are taken from the original work in Dutch of 1719 preserved in the Bibliotheca Antiqua of the Aboca Museum.
The naturalistic masterpiece Over de Voortteeling en wonderbaerlyke veranderingen der Surinaemsche insecten... is the work of Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), a famous German scholar and illustrator, with a passion for botany and entomology.
Having learned the techniques of illustration and natural colouring from her father, Matthäus Merian, an illustrator and cartographer, she depicted the metamorphosis of larvae and caterpillars into butterflies, as well as the spectacular flowers they fed upon, with rigorous scientific diligence, finishing the work in delicate watercolour. Her adventurous life, fuelled by curiosity, led her to exotic locations, notably Surinam and French Guiana, which gave her the opportunity to enrich her work with the original details observed in her explorations.