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[add to 'influenced by Merian':

(Ogilvie:) 'Rösel...  completed his education in the Nuremberg Academy. By the end of his studies he was well aware of debates about the nature of art, the active imitation of nature by the artist, and the effects of art on its audience [that were current at the time], and he must have considered those debates as he organized the Insect Entertainment.

The results of his reflection can be seen in the divergence between Rösel and his immediate inspiration, Merian's work on Suriname. Both artists intended their engravings to be studied along with the accompanying text, and they understood that their readers would move actively between word and image. But they made different choices about the proper balance between the two. Merian chose a format without too much text. As she put it in her letter to the reader, she kept her descriptions short so they could be set opposite the illustrations... As a result, they occupy at most a folio page... text and image could be placed opposite each other, with engraved images bound facing the folio text...

Rösel, on the other hand, accompanied each engraving with a quarto sheet of text. These sheets were originally published separately with the accompanying illustration, and Rösel's printer, Johann Joseph Fleischmann, fit the text to the sheets, either filling up blank with ornamental flourishes or switching to smaller type in the last few pages of a sheet in order to fit in the entire text... the engravings were to be tipped into a blank leaf so that they could be folded out and examined while reading the text.

This format allowed Rösel to describe species at length while having the image constantly before the reader's eyes. And Rösel, unlike Merian, included in his engravings numbers or letters that were keyed to the text. Modeled after the keys that were common in works of anatomy and natural history, these cross-references linked the images closely to the accompanying descriptions. Read and examined together, image and text formed the complete "insect entertainment," which might in turn inspire readers to seek out and observe the insects themselves.' (83-84)

'Merian showed relatively little interest in beetles... though Merian's hand-coloured engravings, based on original watercolours, were well suited to depict the splendour of certain [of them]...

Rösel, on the other hand, was fascinated by beetles. A substantial part of the second volume of the Insecten-Belustigung was taken up by beetles'. (87)

'As he continued [the series], Rösel partially abandoned his decision, following Merian, to portray insects in their actual size.' (94)

'From one perspective, Rösel's Insect Entertainment can be read... as part of the history of science; in particular, the history of natural history and entomology before their professionalization. In that framework, the contrast between Merian's lush, carefully composed engravings and Rösel's sober illustrations appears to mark a shift toward the modern scientific illustration... We should be wary, though, of imposing the modern notion of "science" on these investigators of nature' (95)]