The Fagel Library holds a lot of impressive books on biology and natural history, but Maria Sibylla Merian’s Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (Amsterdam 1719) is without a doubt one of the most spectacular. Merian, a German-born illustrator and entomologist, travelled to (the former Dutch colony) Surinam in 1699, where she studied insects and their metamorphosis. After two years she returned to the Dutch Republic, where she published the first edition of this book in 1705. It is considered one the most beautiful books on natural history ever published in the Netherlands. A selection of pages and plates is shown below.
Maria Sibylla Merian’s Metamorphosis insectorum Surinamensium (Amsterdam 1719). Fag.GG.2.10.