Frankfurt, Germany, 17th century; interior – house – day: a girl is leaning over some flowers and observes them. All is grey around her: parents, toys, books, house. The flowers, where some tiny insects nestle, are the only vibrant things, as lively as true life is. Two eyes wide open reflect them full of wonder, two little hands draw them. A disagreement among family members opens up the way to a discovery. A life-changing discovery.
In the vast richness of Maria Sibylla Merian’s life, Anna Paolini chooses to linger on few less showy moments and illustrates some fragments of her childhood spent at home, with her family, pointing out the art training, the studies, and the passions of a girl on the verge of adulthood. Until the moment she discovers her true talent.
Maria Sibylla Merian was an artist, naturalist and scientific illustrator, who lived in the 17th century in Germany, Netherlands and South America. She is considered to be among the most significant contributors to the field of modern entomology. But she was also a teacher, an entrepreneur, a traveller, a publisher... Highly intelligent, talented and savvy, she was able to get an education, travel and pursue her passions even though she lived in a time when women’s intellectual development and self-fulfilment were not encouraged.
During her long life, she never neglected her social and family duties, nevertheless she changed more than once city, country, family set-up, etc. and always carried on her passion for the natural environment, even through adversity: she collected, bred, observed and drew caterpillars and butterflies, then all kind of insects, and depicted their life cycle in exquisitely beautiful plates. Her passion was highly conflicting with the traditional women’s habits of her times, with some religious beliefs and established scientific practices.
Consistently with her particular style, for this book Anna Paolini creates some rarefied, delicate and evocative images, alternating greyscale and colours, distilling unspoken emotions and feelings, and conveying a sense of wonder; the same wonder we share with the young protagonist in front of the object of her passion and the marvellous tables that are born from that passion.
A book dedicated to the right to dream on and carry on one’s ideas and passions, even the most unusual ones… dedicated to all children… and grown-ups!
Anna Paolini was born in Bologna, where she attended the Accademia di belle arti before specialising in book illustration at the Accademia Internazionale Comics.
#logosedizioni also published S’alza il vento (2018) and Matrioska (2019).
|Dimensions||cm 21,0 x 28,0|
|Insetti da amare||Robinson (La Repubblica)||24-03-2019|
|Donne per Merian||Resto del Carlino||31-03-2019|
|Piccole grandi donne da leggere||Quotidiano Nazionale||03-04-2019|
|Bologna Children’s Book Fair 2019: impressioni e novità dell’edizione appena conclusa||Manga Forever||www||07-04-2019|
|Figure e parole: dieci libri di primavera dalla BCBF 2019||Espoarte||www||14-05-2019|