Botanikai Közlemények

  Journal of the Botanical Section of the Hungarian Biological Society

< 2016

Botanikai Közlemények 103(1): 7–32 (2016)
DOI: 10.17716/BotKozlem.2016.103.1.7

My memories of dr. Vera Csapody


K. Bíró 


Accepted: 12 April 2016


It was fifty years ago when I first met my mentor in plant painting, dr. Vera Csapody, the noted botanical artist and illustrator. Generations of botanists and plant-lovers grew up on her artistic yet accurate plant illustrations published in numerous scholarly and popular science books. Several publications have already evaluated her scientific merits, in this paper I share my personal memories of her. It was my botany professor, István Kárpáti, who introduced me to her as a talented student with strong attitude for drawing plants. Vera Csapody accepted me as disciple and I regularly visited her at the Herbarium of the Hungarian Natural History Museum at Budapest. I learned from her every bits and details of plant illustration, yet I never felt that I was being taught. Later, when I became a botanical illustrator myself, she kept her kind attention on my works, continued to give advice, shared the joy of my successes, and even gifted me some of her most precious works. Vera Csapody was an admirable person deeply dedicated to botany, had a humble respect for nature, and was always persistent and precise in work. She lived a very modest – almost monastic – life. She was always open for discussion and turned towards people with love. She found family bonds extremely important. It was perhaps due to the deep intellectual activity associated with plant drawing and painting – practiced over more than sixty years – that she had a mental acuity and sharp memory well after eighty. I am grateful that I had such an incomparable mentor.

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Csapody V. 1932: Mediterrán elemek a magyar flórában. Bölcsészdoktori értekezés. Rákospalota, 23 pp. és I-XIV. tábla.

Debreczy Zs., Bíró K. 1973: Dísznövények (búvár zsebkönyvek). Móra Ferenc Könyvkiadó, Budapest, 62 pp.

Debreczy Zs., Csapody V. 1971: Télen is zöld kertek. Mezőgazdasági Kiadó, Budapest, 383 pp.

Jávorka S., Csapody V. 1952: Növényhatározó. Tankönyvkiadó Vállalat, Budapest, 708 pp.

Simon T., Csapody V. 1966: Kis növényhatározó. Tankönyvkiadó, Budapest, 179 pp.