Science Art: De XII Afbeelding (Banana) by Maria Sibylla Merian

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At the end of the 17th century, this was some weird and wild stuff – a fruit that in the Americas, they call “banana” (if I’m reading the Dutch text from Biodiversity Heritage Library’s copy of Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium correctly).

Merian was curious about entomology, and all sorts of other parts of nature, and made some lovely illustrations of insects and the plants they relied on for food. But it was the Insects of Surinam that made her reputation.

Want a banana?