The lovely Maria Opens Up was 40 this week, a landmark that can’t possibly go unnoticed on the Exposing 40 blog. 

Those of you who follow Maria on Twitter will know her online moniker is Maria Sibylla and her handle is @MSM1647. What you may not know is that Maria Sibylla Merian, born in 1647, was a talented scientific illustrator who David Attenborough (hero!) regards as one the most important entomologists the world has ever known.

Divorced from her husband, she took her daughter to the jungles of Suriname and turned her love of butterflies and insects into her work. In the early 1700s, way before cameras existed and when common belief was that insects were horrid creatures born of mud, she published a beautiful book of paintings that charted the life cycle of the insect world. Today her illustrations are regarded as art and science. What a woman!

There’s nothing very scientific about this photo, but there’s some pretty insects! Happy Birthday, Maria. Welcome to Club Forties – it’s a fabulous place to be! Xx


19 thoughts on “Entomologist

  1. Oh my gosh! This is so lovely and so thoughtful! Thank you! I discovered Maria Merian while working on a play called ‘Maria’s Metamorphosis’. When I was thinking of a name for this experience, I recalled that experience and her and thought it was all really fitting. I admired her spirit and talent and independence in a time when it wasnt common for a woman to be on her own.

    I also find her work to be amazingly beautiful. As I do yours, Ms. E40. Your skin is absolutely lovely here, and the jeweled insects are delightful.

    Thank you so much!! xoxo


  2. Pingback: Butterfly - Maria Opens Up

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