No Heaven on Earth
Kim Todd, Maurice Manning, and Nicole Rudick
The Wide Open:
Prose, Poetry, and Photographs of the Prairie
$39.95 List Price
In Maria Sibylla Merian's first caterpillar book, printed in 1679, a garden tiger moth lives parallel lives. On one side of a stalk of blue flowers is the expected metamorphosis: a heap of pearly eggs, a tiny caterpillar, a swirled pupa, and a black and tangerine moth. On the other, a fat caterpillar crawls under a blackened pupa, open and empty. A larva of a different species has sucked the life out of the would-be moth and produced its own minute black fly. The split image arrests time: Emergence, transformation, and decay transpire on a single page.
An avid naturalist, Merian hatched hundreds of caterpillars and depicted their changes. These insect portraits evolved over her lifetime into the stunning watercolors she created for her book The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname, the fruit of two years'
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