Artwork of month
Jiřina Kaplická Cucumber, 1952

Jiřina Kaplická
Cucumber, 1952

watercolor on tinted paper
18.4 x 33.8 cm
in exposition 
From collections
Masaryk Square No. 24

This year's cucumber season will probably be different than we were used to (as we have been used to saying in the last two years). When we enjoy summer fun with a glass of cucumber lemonade in the garden - restaurant or our own - we may look in the spirit for the form of the plant that gave birth to the fragrant vegetable. Cucumber from our collections, created by Jiřina Kaplická, tickles in the palm of your hand. The plant attracts insects to its yellow flowers under its leaves like under parasols, and then modestly and quietly satiates its refreshing fruits. No scientific illustration can be created without perfect mastery of technique, honesty of communication and diligence of elaboration. In addition, deep empathy speaks from the works of Jiřina Kaplická.


June 2021

Jiřina Kaplická née Florová graduated from the Academy of Arts, Architecture and Design under Vratislav Hugo Brunner and František Kysela. Until 1939, she taught drawing in high schools. During the war, she devoted herself mainly to her family, together with her husband, painter and sculptor Josef Kaplický, they raised their son Jan, a future architect. In addition to her designs for bookbindings, home textiles or porcelain decors, Jiřina Kaplická selflessly helped her husband with the realizations. She continuously created and published her scientific illustrations. Although she preferred to work with a brush, she was inspired by the work of the founder of Czech scientific illustration, A. C. J. Corda, Josef Mánes or Karel Svolinský. She followed her green models in the open air, for example in the garden of the Průhonice chateau. Her illustrations have been accompanied by dozens of titles by Czech and foreign publishers. In the aptly named publication Kytice Kytky Kytičky (Albatros, 1986), she supplemented volumes of meadow flowers with poems by Jan Vodňanský, Milena Lukešová and others.