Attributed to Johanna Helena Herolt

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Attributed to Johanna Helena Herolt
b. 1668
Three Mice Nibbling Fruit
ca. 1690-1710
Watercolor and opaque watercolor on vellum.
12 13/16 x 10 9/16 inches (326 x 268 mm)
Purchased on the Fellows Fund, with the special assistance of Mrs. Carl Stern and Mrs. Lawrence Hughes.
F.W.A. Knight Esq.; his sale, Amsterdam, Sotheby Mak van Waay, 29 October 1979, lot 155 repr.

Ryskamp, Charles, ed. Nineteenth Report to the Fellows of the Pierpont Morgan Library, 1978-1980. New York : Pierpont Morgan Library, 1981, p. 204.


Johanna Helena Herolt, Maria Sibylla Merian's (1647-1717) eldest daughter, was also a talented artist. She often collaborated with her mother and worked in a similar style, which can make it difficult to distinguish between the two women's drawings. In this sheet, which was previously attributed to Merian, the artist depicted mice nibbling on nuts and acorns, bringing together the plant and animal kingdoms. Although the three scenes are completely discrete, the dynamic composition imbues the image with a narrative quality. The white mouse gazes directly at the viewer, which creates a sense of engagement unusual for a scientific illustration. Another version of this subject is in the Fondation Custodia, Paris (inv. no. 7535).
Formerly attributed to Maria Sibylla Merian, 1647-1717.

Associated names: 

Merian, Maria Sibylla, 1647-1717, Formerly attributed to.
Knight, F. W. A., former owner.
Stern, Anne Bigelow, donor.
Hughes, Lawrence, Mrs., donor.