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THE SÜTŐ FAMILY:


Originally from Fiátfalva, the furniture-making and furniture-painting Sütő dynasty of Vargyas is one of the best known of the historic furniture making families in Székelyföld, Transylvania. From the end of the 16th century to the present day, 14 generations have handed down the craft of cabinet-making.

Judging by the works that survive, the most distinguished members of the family are:
  • József the 4th (born 1789)
  • István the second (born 1810)
  • János the second (born early 1800s)
  • Lajos the first (born 1847)
  • Béla the first (born 1895)
  • Béla the second (born 1919)
  • Levente Lehel (born 1954)
  • Gábor the second (born 1955)

Carpentry tools inscribed with the names of the owners have survived in the Sütő family since 1680 and the peasent furniture they made has been preserved since the early 19th century. József Sütő and his son István painted the flowered ceiling panels in the church at Homoródoklánd in 1840. Characteristic of the work of the Sütő family are the harmony between the carpentry and the furniture-painting and the balance of composition and colours. The Sütő family were also excellent wood carvers. Besides the flowered interiors for churches and the painting of furniture, they have also done a lot of carving work in recent times, (e.g. roofed gates, decorated washboards). The influence of the Sütő family is also evident in the furniture-making and furniture-painting of nearby villages.


THE FURNITURE OF VARGYAS:
Some examples have survived since the early 19 th century. Of the furniture from Székelyföld, Transylvania,the furniture from this village is among the most carefully made, with its harmoniously proportioned design and richly painted flowers. The rectangular wall cupboard doors, sometimes with an arched crest above them, perhaps of carved open-work, are especially beautiful. Sky blue or wine red are characteristic as background colours, as are the vivid colours and individual style of the flower patterns. The Sütő family of furniture-makers and furniture-painters had a decisive and virtually exclusive role to play in the development and continuation of this individual style. Because of its strong influence on neighbouring communities, Vargyas can be considered a school of furniture painting.




Bibliography:
Károly Kós: The Painted Furniture of Vargyas (Kolozsvár, 1972);

Ádám Konya: The Flowers of Béla Sütő (Mesteri populare - Folk Craftsmen. Sepsziszentgyörgy, 1977)

The Hungarian Encyclopedy of Ethnography Volume 4, p 510



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