I saw her work at the Special Collections Library at Washington University in St. Louis — I think. It would have been over 20 years ago, and they may have been prints. It was part of a bequest someone had given to the library while they were still living. I don’t recall the gentleman’s name, but I spent the afternoon with him and he was treasure.

That aside, a quick google search brought up the Getty, so you might start there. They staged an exhibition on her work and life. The curator of the exhibition would surely know where her original works are.

Searching further, I see that Peter the Great bought all her original works and they reportedly remain in Russia. This is off a web page… so I’d research it further just to make sure. And I guess that means I must have seen prints 20 some odd years ago. Wikipedia says Peter the Great bought “a significant number” of her works which are kept in academic collections in St. Petersburg. There are references listed on the Wiki page.

Prints have appeared on Christies for as much as $238,000.

Pages mention that her engraver was Joseph Mulder, but close attention should be paid to the engraver, as the engraver often was an artist in his own right. Think of Tenniel’s Alice In Wonderland drawings - very pale pencil drawings that the engraver transformed into the drawings we are familiar with. Marian’s paintings were done on vellum with watercolor and/or gouache (apparently women were not allowed to paint in oils due to some artist’s guild rule).

This page has a lot of good info:

That ought to get you started.


On Jan 20, 2016, at 7:50 PM, Kathryn Killackey <[log in to unmask]> wrote:

Hi Everyone,

This Atlantic article is going around on Twitter and I thought those of you with an interest in the history of science illustration (everyone?) would enjoy it:

And for those of you who are already familiar with Maria Sibylia Merian's work, do you know where more of her illustrations can be viewed?



Kathryn Killackey
natural science illustrator
Hamilton, ON
(289) 308-6769


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