Transylvanian Painted Furniture – Timeless Stories
Saxon villages in Transylvania have always radiated a distinct charm and that was not in the different architecture solely. They carry among their houses a mystic air, loaded with history which exudes through every little architectural or decorative detail. If we are familiar somehow with the exteriors, you should then see the secrets hidden inside, in interiors bursting with tradition embodied in different ways and forms. We will today take a close look at Transylvanian painted furniture, genuine works of art and masterpieces that speak of passion and love of nature by means of well-chosen and painted colors.
The tradition of the manually painted furniture has been passed down from generation to generation and takes on the ageless stories told by those unique colorful contours, the craftsmen that keep this tradition alive say. What is important with furnishings today is atmosphere, they say, and this is why this furniture is the quintessence of natural living. Warmth, security and a pleasant feeling of timelessness greet you as you enter. And since nature is their model, the furniture is never out of fashion.
The pieces of furniture are solidly crafted mostly from pinewood, but linden, oak, beech or walnut are also choices and they are all exquisitely hand painted with the traditional ornaments characteristic to the Saxon population of Transylvania. Background colors, consisting of water-soluble paint are also hand painted and are sanded back to reveal the grain, the knots and nuances of the wood. The decorated surfaces are protected with several layers of oil-glaze and water-soluble or wax-oil based varnish.
The main motif you’ll find almost anywhere on these pieces is “the tree of life” a metaphor often related to fertility and immortality first discovered in Persia 8000 years ago. In Transylvania, the traditional tree of life brings together multicolored flowers each of them with its symbol : roses – passion (fervent love), lily of the valley – gentleness (grace), tulips – pride, carnations, pomegranates, flower buds meaning virginity and wide open flowers meaning maturity, falling pollen and seeds meaning resurrection.
From beds, tables, chairs, chests, coffers, wardrobes, benches, clocks and cradles, these pieces of furniture carry a double story deeply engraved in their unique contours: that of wood coming to life in these household items and then the story of a painting which reflects such a rich artistic spirit.
Sources: Mobilapictata.ro, Stejarmasiv.ro