Scarlet Ibis with an Egg, Maria Sibylla Merian, 1699 - 1700

Scarlet Ibis with an Egg, Maria Sibylla Merian, 1699 - 1700

parchment (animal material), h 421mm × w 308mm More details

Maria Sibylla Merian was an artist and a naturalist, a unique combination for a 17th-century woman. In 1699, aged 52 and divorced, she and her youngest daughter sailed to Suriname; this was a dangerous journey for any man, let alone two single women. There she drew all sorts of exotic animals, including this scarlet ibis. Its plumage is brilliant orange red, a colour she recreated with layers of opaque paint.

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