Csapody, Vera

(Budapest, March 29th, 1890 – Budapest, November 6th,1985)

Csapody, Vera

Among the most precious treasures of the Herbarium are water-colours of high artistic and scientific value painted by Vera Csapody.

Daughter of a medical professor and an artistically oriented mother, the oldest among the eight children born to the family.

Her family connections and talent could have projected an art career but she studied mathematics and physics at the Budapest  University of Sciences Web link.

After the unexpected death of her father, she was teaching mathematics and physics in secondary schools for almost a quarter of a century (1914-1938). She taught another decade as director of the the institute called Sophianum of the nunnery Sacré Coeur.(1938-1948).

Beside writing mathematical and physical studies and textbooks since the end of the 1910th years she has been drawing and painting first of all flowers, always from the nature.

In 1922 she had presented her water-colour works on an exhibition and Sándor Jávorka, who was at that time already working on the book The Hungarian Flora, recognizing her exceptional talent, immediately asked her to participate in his enterprise. She joined and for decades, after her teaching hours she made her wonderful drawings and water-colours at the Department of Botany Web link of the Hungarian Natural History Museum. In 1932 she obtained her doctoral degree.

In 1948, after 34 years of teaching, the communist rule put an end to her first period of life. Her school was closed and she was dismissed from her profession.

By this time she was already well known as botanist and artist in Hungary and abroad, however she called herself an illustrator and not an artist.

In the following 17 years, she worked at the Department of Botany and for decades there was no major botanical work published without her illustrations.

She was still working in her last years, painting and drawing the illustrations of the Dendrological Atlas. In the Museum more than 11 000 water-colours of her is held.

Honours: Ferenc Entz Ferenc medal (1966), Award for Work (1965, 1970), State Award (1980).

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