Confederate Rose with Androgeus Swallowtail Butterfly

Series Title
The Metamorphosis of The Insects of the Insects of Suriname
after : Maria Sybilla Merian (German, 1647 – 1717)
engraver : Pieter Sluyter (Dutch, 1675 – 1715)
First edition 1705; this edition 1719
Hand-colored engraving
Plate : 11 3/4 x 9.9 in. (29.85 x 25.24 cm)
Sheet : 21 1/16 x 14 3/4 in. (53.5 x 37.47 cm)
Mat : 24 x 20 in. (60.96 x 50.8 cm)
Credit Line
Hope College Collection
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Maria Sibylla Merian, a German-born naturalist and nature artist of the 17th and early 18th centuries, committed her life to studying the metamorphosis of insects. Confederate Rose with Androgeus Swallowtail Butterfly is a hand-colored engraving depicting the complete life cycle of the Androgeus Swallowtail butterfly. Rendering two caterpillars and two butterflies of the same species, Merian depicts the process of metamorphosis. One caterpillar rests on the leaf of a pink confederate rose, and the other makes its way down the flower's stem. Both male and female specimens of the insects are represented, with the male appearing at the bottom of the work and the female resting on the rose. The Androgeus Swallowtail butterflies and caterpillars are shown with the confederate rose because this flower is their host plant in the wild, and thus Merian alludes to the caterpillars' habitat. This print is part of Merian’s Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium, an impressive volume of botanical and insect engravings that Merian created after spending three years in Suriname in South America from 1699 to 1701.This research trip and the subsequent publication were major accomplishments and confirm Merian’s position as a pioneering woman in the fields of science and art. [Emily Lindbloom ‘20]  

Object Type