When you reflect on famous artists and their work, like the Mona Lisa by DaVinci for instance, you can immediately appreciate the beauty of their masterpiece. However, when the subject of an artwork is an insect, you might have a little more trouble seeing the beauty in it before wanting to call an exterminator! The brave souls who did make insects their muse had an appreciation for natural history, especially during the 17th century.
Studying bugs for their connection to the earth and nature led to some beautiful creations by Albrecht Dürer such as the Stag Beetle. Dürer said of art, “It is indeed true that art is omnipresent in nature, and the true artist is he who can bring it out.”
Some artists liked to focus on butterflies because they represented transformation and resurrection. Wenceslaus Hollar’s drawing Forty-One Insects, Moths and Butterflies features a collection of bugs of different varieties on displaying much like a “cabinet of curiosity.” Check out this painting and more below!