Maria Sibylla Merian, Breiter Wegrich / Plantago major, multiplex, Kupferstich, abgedruckt in: Der Raupen wunderbare Verwandelung, und sonderbare Blumen=nahrung, Nürnberg, Frankfurt am Main und Leipzig, Bd. 1, 1679, Tf. 36
In the text of the Caterpillar Book, published in 1679, Maria Sibylla Merian expressed her pleasure in the fact that, thanks to the pretty green caterpillar – which is difficult to discern at first sight –, she had the opportunity to include an unremarkable weed such as a plantain in her book. In this respect, her book differs from the seventeenth-century florilegia and their concern with splendour and luxury. Yet despite her matter-of-fact scientific approach, she did not dispense with high artistic standards in her depiction of the plant. Her drawings are always scientific illustrations and artworks in one.