Google pays tribute to naturalist Maria Sibylla Merian
New Delhi: Google celebrates the 366th birth anniversary of German naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian with a doodle depicting her illustrations of plants and insects.
Maria was born on 2 April in 1647 in Frankfurt. She was encouraged by her stepfather, a still life painter whom her mother married after the death of her father, to draw and paint from an early age.
She married her stepfather’s apprentice in 1665 and moved to Nuremberg two years later. There she gave drawing lessons to the daughters of wealthy families, which gave her access to the finest gardens and began studying insects, particularly the lifecycle of caterpillars and butterflies.
She published her first book on illustrations Neues Blumenbuch (New book of flowers) in three parts from 1675-80.
In 1699, she made an expedition to Surinam in South America, travelling around the then Dutch colony and sketching local animals and plants.
After her return, she published a book called Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium about the insects of Surinam in 1705.
Merian suffered a stroke in 1715 and was partially paralysed.
She died two years later on 13 January 1717 in Amsterdam.