My biography

My name is Klara Monda. My maiden name is Klara Schettrer. I was born in 1958, Harta. I have been interested in drawing and in various ornamentational techniques and hand-made works early in my childhood. I learned wall painting and the folk art of Kalocsa within a course. I became interested in Hartaian painted furnitures in these times. I learned painting in 1976 from Péter Himpelmann who got the rank "The master of folk art" at that time. Some years later I began to jurying my works and when my children became a little elder, I began to work. I carry my artifacts to folk art stores, I work by individual assignments and I also take part in various exhibitions. I gained the title "furniture painter folk artist" in 2005.

The evolution of the hartarian furniture painting

Harta is located in the west part of the Duna-Tisza köze, on the Budapest-Baja route. Geographically it belongs to the Solti champaign. The "Harta" word originates from the German hart (hard) adjective, because the settlers who had arrived in the beginning of the 18th century found hard, black terra here. The first settling wave was followed by more waves. There were more than 40 carpenters and furniture painters living and working in Harta between 1840 and the World War 2. Harta became one of the most significant furniture painting centrals in Hungary at that time. The impact of the new home and the knowledge people brought in has lead to a specific furniture culture.

The furnitures were made of softwood and hardwood. The earliest painted furnitures were made in the beginning of the 1800s. Typically they were flogged brown. It’s a technique that mimics the veins of the natural wood. Only a little part of the furnitures were decorated with flowered patterns, generally on the inlays. These inlays were painted blue and were decorated with tulip patterns. These patterns were very nice and simple.

This has changed by the end of the century. The furnitures became more decorated. The customers wanted more and more motives to their furnitures. With the abundance of motives they wanted to express their richness. The brown base color has disappeared and everyting became blue with little patterns on it. The furnitures became overdecorated and the motives became hardly recognizable.

The hartaian colors and motives are liked in the whole world. The furnitures made in the 19th century are very appealing and demanding which presents an excellent picture for the painters of our days.

My personal opinion

I think that the less provocative and simultaneously decorative furnitures of the 18th century are the most beautiful of all the hartaian furnitures. We should go back to these motives. I believe that modern people also need nice, hand-painted objects. These hartaian furnitures need to suit the demands of today’s people in order to be available at places other than only museums. I’d like to work to realize that image.


On 28 April 2011 ATV has created a short movie that has a section about me from 22 minute 19 seconds.

On 27 July 2011 an article was written about me in the Fejér Megyei news.

On 17 August 2012 another article has been written about me regarding the Hungarian National Furniture Painting Camp which I was professional leader of.

Klara Monda Klara Monda

Artwork by Klara Monda.
This site was created by László Monda.
Licensed under CC BY-ND 3.0