Maria Sibylla Merian and her daughters were pioneers of natural history illustration and entomology. Among other achievements, at age 52 Maria Sibylla sold most of her belongings and set sail for the Dutch colony of Suriname to study its insects. That was in 1699.
Mulberries, caterpillars, and moths, Maria Sibylla Merian, in De Europische insecten (European Insects), 1730. The Getty Research Institute