Appletons' Cyclopædia of American Biography/Merian, Marie Sibylle

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MERIAN, Marie Sibylle (may-ree-ong), naturalist, b. in Frankfort, Germany, 2 April, 1647; d. in Amsterdam, 13 Jan., 1717. She was a daughter of Matthew Merian, the Swiss engraver, and in 1665 married André Graff, an artist of Nuremberg. She was early noted for her knowledge of botany and entomology, and attained great reputation as a naturalist. She went to Surinam with her daughter in 1699 and returned in 1701, bringing with her a very large collection of drawings of the insects, shells, and plants of that colony. After her return she published “Metamorphosis Insectarum Surinamensium” (Amsterdam, 1705), which was followed after her death by “Dissertatio de Generatione et Metamorphosibus Insectorum Surinamensium” (1719). She had previously issued in Latin other works which were afterward published together in French under the title “Histoire des insectes de l'Europe” (1730). Both works appeared in French under the title “Histoire generale des insectes de Surinam et de toute l'Europe” (3 vols., Paris, 1771). Many of the plates in these works were her own work and possess great merit. Some of her beautiful designs on vellum are in the British museum. — Her daughters, Jeanne Marie Helène and Dorothée Marie Henriette, assisted their mother. The former was sent to Surinam on a second expedition in 1702.