Maria Sibylla Merian

Published 2017

Chelsea Textiles, renowned for their faithful recreations of antique textiles and hand embroidery, are delighted to announce a new design based on the 17th century botanical illustrations of the extraordinary german born naturalist and scientific illustrator Maria Sibylla Merian.

Born in 1647, Maria painted her first images of insects and plants at the age of thirteen. She went on to publish collections of engravings of plants from 1675 through to 1680. Maria painted with watercolours and gouache as due to the guild system in Europe at that time, women were forbidden from painting in oil. At the beginning of her career she also created designs for embroidery and the genesis of this Chelsea Textiles design was an 18th century dress that features the same motifs from 1680s The New Book of Flowers.

Chelsea Textiles are proud to have created a textile based on the work of a woman who lived such an astonishing life and who was so modern for her time. On a pale linen 24 different floral bouquets are embroidered by hand with great attention to detail and careful shading in vivid colours. It is a design that brings beauty to any room as timeless and consistently relevant as Maria Sibylla Merian herself.

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