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Maria Sibylla Merian, Unidentifiable caper, Plate 44

Maria Sibylla Merian, Unidentifiable caper, Plate 44

  • $ 9,500.00

Maria Sibylla Merian

Unidentifiable caper, Plate 44

From Dissertatio de Generatione et Metamorphosibus Insectorum Surinamensium 

Published: Amsterdam, J. Oosterwyk, 1719

Transfer-print Watercolor

Framed size: approx. 24 x 31"

The eight hundred or so very varied species of caper are distributed through the tropics and subtropical lands. The variety shown here is a tall tree of Surinam, other varieties growing as shrubs and bushes. The carpels and stamens are frequently duplicated, enhancing the splendor of the blossom. The red seeds in the quadrivalve, prickly fruits were used by the Indians to make dyestuffs. They soaked the red grains in water, and the red coloring matter was deposited. They also used the coloring the body. Merian found the caterpillars of the owlet moth (Notuidae gen. spec.) and the skipper (Pyrrhopyge latefasciata) feeding on the tree. 

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