Araschnia levana (Map butterfly)
I didn’t think I’d be painting butterflies. I thought it was such a clichéd, kitschy topic, so colorful, girlish, tender. None of these things. The variety of colors and shapes of butterfly wings is shocking, it is an endless treasure trove of inspiration. It was through this beauty that we pinned them to our walls and looked at these dead bodies without spirit. My butterflies are dead from the beginning. They lack soul, flat and still, only the colors of their wings vibrate. These lifeless, scaled jewels allow us to reflect on the beauty of the world, its diversity, and remind us of our determination to acquire beauty at any cost, at the cost of our lives. These are not hyper-realistic images, they are only supposed to be a simulation of the beauty of nature, a bit flattened, curled and remixed, torn, decomposed. The torn out wings hang in the void of paper, but no one has died, no one has suffered the fatal blow of a pin to feed our soul. Long live the butterflies!
The area of distribution of the map extends from Spain through Europe and east through the Palearctic to Central Asia and the Russian Far East to Korea and Japan.
Despite a temporary decline in individual regions of Europe, there has been a general increase and increase within the populated areas for more than 100 years. In Germany, the map was only locally represented until the 1930s, from the middle of the century it was already widespread and in places frequently encountered. In the second half of the 20th century it spread in Germany to the north and west across Lower Saxony and North Rhine-Westphalia and Schleswig-Holstein and the Netherlands to the North Sea coast. Already 1881 it was present in Jutland (Denmark). In 1955, the northern distribution limit of indigenous Danish populations was Falster, Lolland and Zealand. It reached Sweden in the 1970s, and in 1973 it was first seen in Finland.
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