MERIAN, Maria Sibylla (1647-1717). Maria Sibylla Merian Leningrad Watercolours. New York and London: A Helen and Kurt Wolff Book, 1974.
2 volumes, folio: portfolio and commentary (18 x 13 6/8 inches). Text in Russian, English, French and German. 50 fine colour facsimiles of original watercolours in Peter the Great's collection, including many superb botanicals by Merian, housed in the Archives and Library of the Academy of Sciences of the U.S.S.R. in Leningrad, housed loose within 50 fascicles in vellum-backed, marbled paper boards, clamshell box; accompanied by a Commentary illustrated with 146 colour reproductions on 17 double-page and folding plates, uniformly bound and housed together with portfolio in a green paper boards slipcase (top edge loose).
First edition, limited issue, number 784 of 1750 copies printed. With superb facsimiles of some of Merian's most beautiful watercolours, purchased by Tsar Peter the Great, after her death in 1717, while on a tour of Amsterdam. Shortly thereafter Maria's daughter Dorethea and her first husband George Gsell travelled to Russia where Dorethea curated the Tsar's collection of watercolours and her husband became a court painter.