History[ edit ] The California Impressionist artists depicted the California landscape — the foothills, mountains, seashores, and deserts of the interior and coastal regions. California Impressionism reached its peak of popularity in the years before the Great Depression.
Zoom in on details and hear commentary opens in new browser window This exhibition charts the artistic and scientific explorations of German artist Maria Sibylla Merian — and her daughters Johanna Helena and Dorothea Maria.
Enterprising and adventurous, these women raised the artistic standards of natural history illustration and helped transform the field of entomology, the study of insects.
The exhibition presents books, prints, and watercolors by Merian and her contemporaries and features one of the greatest illustrated natural history books of all time, The Insects of Suriname.
Read more about Merian's life and work below, or explore highlights of the exhibition in the exhibition slideshow.
Predecessors From aboutEuropean artists increasingly took inspiration from nature, studying the details of insects, animals, flowers, and plants. Maria Sibylla Merian enriched this tradition. The creator of this drawing, Georg Flegel, had a lasting impact on still life painting in Frankfurt, Merian's native city.
Flegel portrayed crawling insects, especially wasps and beetles, with convincing naturalism. In this watercolor, the meticulously rendered hornet is proportionally larger than the ornamental flowers.
Pomegranate, Maria Sibylla Merian, about Beginnings Maria Sibylla Merian was born in in Frankfurt, Germany, into a middle-class family of publishers and artists. Merian's stepfather, Jakob Marrel, had been trained by the artist and art dealer Georg Flegel see image above.
He introduced the young Merian to the art of miniature flower painting against her mother's will. Merian learned how to draw, mix paints, paint in watercolor, and make prints alongside Marrel's male pupils.
Merian's interest in insects was stimulated by the practice of silkworm breeding that was introduced by Frankfurt's silk trade. She began to observe caterpillars, moths, and butterflies, and by the age of 13 she had already observed the metamorphosis of a silkworm—a discovery that pre-dated published accounts by almost ten years.
Merian made this watercolor of a pomegranate plant emerging from the ground when she was not yet She uniquely conveyed the passage of time by contrasting ripe fruit on the branches with the overripe fruit on the ground. There, she instructed the daughters of respected citizens in embroidery and painting.
Merian ingeniously combined her backgrounds in publishing and flower painting to produce The New Book of Flowers, a plate from which is shown here.
Comprised of three volumes, each with twelve plates of engravings, this book of flowers, wreaths, nosegays, and bouquets served as a model book for artists, embroiderers on silk, and cabinetmakers. With this function in mind, Merian portrayed each flower in this plate distinctly, without overlap.
Merian's flower books were heavily used and often damaged, and surviving, intact copies such as the one on view in this exhibition are exceedingly rare. Merian depicted moths and butterflies in various stages of metamorphosis, the process by which they transform from egg to caterpillar to adult.Los Angeles Municipal Art Gallery — Hollywood Blvd., East Hollywood The group show examines L.A.'s changing boundaries — physical, geographical and ephemeral — along with conceptual ones.
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