Two of the illustrators working on the Dendrological Atlas Project participated in the symposium —
Li Aili and Fanni Vámos. Today we take a look at the work of Fanni Vámos. The biographical information that follows is provided by Dr. Zsolt Debreczy, botanist and co-author of Conifers Around the World. I would like to thank Dr. Debreczy for his help in gathering and translating this information.
Fanni Vámos, Botanical Illustrator
Fanni Vámos was born in Budapest in 1982. Her childhood, however, was spent a few miles away from the capital among the green gardens and flowering meadows of Nagytarcsa, where the old Danube riverbeds still hold ponds with constantly changing surfaces of fascinating colors. In addition to a passion for learning languages and mathematics, her talent for creating art with pencil and brushes surfaced as early as elementary school. Instead of going on to gymnasium (i.e., a college prep school), she went to the Barcsay Art School, a special school for applied art in Budapest, where she continued her training. Fanni was particularly fascinated both by the beauty of nature and by historical architecture, and these were major subjects of her artwork. In 2005 she travelled across Western Europe illustrating plants and classical architecture. In 2007 she visited the herbarium of the International Dendrological Foundation (IDF, sister institute of the International Dendrological Research Institute [IDRI, MA, USA] in Hungary) and joined the illustrator team of the Dendrological Atlas. She also joined the team of botanists and illustrators working on the two-volume reference, Conifers Around the World.
In 2009 IDRI sent her to its supporter in Mexico, Boone Hallberg of Ixtlan de Juarez, Oaxaca, to complete illustrations of Mexican conifers.
Fanni’s botanical drawings are spectacular – both artistic and botanically absolutely precise. She has developed into one of the most talented and knowledgeable botanical illustators of the Dendrological Atlas Porject.
While in Mexico, Fanni also worked for art galleries and took private commissions for paintings. More recently, she has refreshed her knowledge of the classical methods of lithography, and with the help of one of the Oaxacan art galleries, has taken on the painstaking task of creating lithographs of her drawings of Pinus veitchii (collected above San Pedro Nexapa on the slopes of Iztaccihuatl and Popocatepetl), and Pinus strobiformis (made while working in Budapest and based on refreshed herbarium collections made by the Dendrological Atlas team in Durango, Mexico in 2004). Fanni’s use of classical techniques has imparted a special artistic character to her original drawings. Her Pinus veitchii is rendered in classic black and white; in contrast, her Pinus strobiformis lithograph – printed in Mexico City – is in vivid color.
A limited selection of Fanni’s lithographs are now available at ArtPlantae’s store. Proceeds benefit the research and illustration team of the Dendrological Atlas Project.