Branch of West Indian Cherry with Achilles Morpho Butterfly

Maria Sibylla Merian1702/1703

Royal Collection Trust, UK

Royal Collection Trust, UK
London, United Kingdom

A watercolour of a branch of the West Indian cherry tree (Malpighia punicifolia) with the life stages of an Achilles morpho butterfly (Morpho achilles). This is an adaptation of plate 7 of Merian's Metamorphosis Insectorum Surinamensium.


  • Title: Branch of West Indian Cherry with Achilles Morpho Butterfly
  • Creator: Maria Sibylla Merian
  • Date Created: 1702/1703
  • Physical Dimensions: 39.0 × 30.4 cm
  • Provenance: Dr Richard Mead (1673–1754); his sale (London, Abraham Langford, 13–16 January 1755, lot 66), where purchased by an unknown collector; sold 15 June 1768 (London, Paterson and Eve, lot 572), where purchased by Sir John Hill via Wilson; George III by c.1810
  • Rights: Royal Collection Trust / © Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2021
  • Medium: Watercolour, Bodycolour, Vellum, Gum arabic
  • Depicted Topic: Fruit, Butterflies, Caterpillars

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