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Exhibition

Maria Merian's Butterflies

Banner for Maria Merian exhibition

In 1699, the German artist and entomologist Maria Sibylla Merian set sail with her youngest daughter for Suriname in South America.  There she would spend two years studying the animals and plants she encountered, leading to the publication of the lavishly illustrated  Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium (The Metamorphosis of the Insects of Suriname), which brought the wonders of Suriname to Europe. 

Maria Merian's Butterflies tells the artist’s extraordinary story through her works acquired by George III and now in the Royal Collection.  These include the luxury versions of the plates from the Metamorphosis, partially printed and then hand-painted on vellum by Merian herself.

Exhibition highlights

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Pineapple with Cockroaches

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Cotton-Leaf Physicnut with Giant Sphinx Moth

Maria Sibylla Merian (1647-1717)

Branch of Banana with Bullseye Moth

Events programme

Map & directions

The Queen's Gallery, Palace of Holyroodhouse, Canongate, The Royal Mile, Edinburgh, EH8 8DX
By car

There is a public car park adjacent to the gallery.

By train

Edinburgh Waverley. The Queen's Gallery is a 15-minute walk from the station.

By coach / bus

Bus numbers 6 and Skylink 300 stop near the gallery.  Open-top tour buses stop nearby.

Coach parking is provided free of charge.