Maria Sibylla Merian: artist whose passion for insects changed science

If you love art, then you may know that today is the birthday of one of the world’s most talented scientific illustrators, Maria Sibylla Merian. Long before the camera was invented, she acted as the world’s eyes by painting stunning and scientifically accurate pictures of flowers and later, of insects.

Although she was one of the world’s first entomologists, it’s likely you have never heard of her: she certainly is not as well-known as she deserves to be – even among professional entomologists. This sad reality may be the motivation behind Google honouring her with a special Doodle today, on the 366th anniversary of her birth in Frankfurt am Main.

Merian was a remarkable individual. Not only was she an accomplished artist, but she was also an excellent naturalist and a bold explorer, too. After separating from her artist-husband, she relocated to

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