Showing exquisitely detailed images of the plants, insects, spiders, butterflies and amphibians of Suriname at the turn of the 18th century, Merian’s Metamorphosis insectorum surinamensium caused a sensation when it was published in 1705, with George III acquiring her work for the royal collection. Sotheby’s said it was “one of the most important natural history books of the period”, with very few studies of insects having been done previously, and Merian one of the first naturalists to observe them directly, as well as one of the first female scientific explorers.