Early Women Explorers


An exhibition of watercolours of plants and insects from Suriname, is at The Queen’s Gallery, London.


The artist was the dutch naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717), one of the earliest scientific illustrators.

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Her work was respected by Linnaeus, purchased by George III. and acknowledged in a sub-species name for a butterfly, Opsiphanes casino merianae.

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In 1699 she sold her house in Amsterdam and, with her daughter, got on a boat to Suriname. For two women it was a dangerous place with tropical heat and pirates.

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The exhibition at Buckingham Palace closes on October 9th.