Mariano Fortuny- Did you know he also painted?

When I think of Mariano Fortuny, lush velvets and delicate, pleated silks come to mind.  The “Delphos” dress is a classic. The “Fortuny lampshade” is also. The beautiful damask fabrics, the gorgeous clothes.  His mystique.  What I did not realize is that he was also a very gifted painter. And engraver. And stage and lighting set designer. Some of his inventions set new benchmarks in theater that are still followed today.

Silk lampshades in Mariano Fortuny 1999 Marsilio Editori

Fortuny velvet

Mariano Fortuny (y Madrazo) was born in Grenada, Spain in 1871. After his painter father’s early death at age 36 of malaria in 1874, his mother moved her two young children to Paris, where Mariano was encouraged to study painting and etching under his uncle’s tuteledge. He was introduced to many of the artists at the time through his family and exposed to many styles of painting.   In 1889, his mother moved the family to Venice. Mariano spent time in both Venice and Paris, before finally settling in the Palazzo Orfei.  Today it is now called the Palazzo Fortuny, as it houses the museum dedicated to Fortuny and his works.

Here are some views of the Palazzo Fortuny:

Palazzo Fortuny exterior in Fortuny by Guillermo de Osma

Palazzo Fortuny exterior in Fortuny by Anne-Marie Deschodt

The Grand Salon in Fortuny by Anne-Marie Deschodt

Palazzo Fortuny in Fortuny by Guillermo de Osma

The library in Fortuny by Anne-Marie Deschodt

Fortuny's studio in Fortuny by Anne-Marie Deschodt

Fortuny worked in oils, gouache and tempera, creating his own color pigments. He favored copper plate etching, which, along with his painting, greatly influenced his later creations in silk and velvet. He learned the subtle use of color and the importance of light to achieve the dramatic effects seen in his textiles.

Here are  some of Fortuny’s paintings:

"Una roccia a pareti verticali sulla riva del mare" 1948

Prove alla Scala di Milano

Ritratto di Henriette Fortuny in costume pompeiano, 1935

Here Fortuny painted his own Palazzo:

Interno dell'atelier del pittore a palazzo Pesaro-Orfei a Venezia

Painted by Fortuny's father, Mariano Fortuny Y Marsal (1835 - 1874)

And last, but not least, my favorite:

Schizzo per la decorazione dell'atelier dell'artista a Venezia



Filed under Fortuny- paintings and fabric, Inspirations

4 responses to “Mariano Fortuny- Did you know he also painted?


    Dear Sir

    The painting with pot of flowers has been painted by
    MARIANO FORTUNY Y MARSAL, father of Mariano Fortuny Y Madrazo.(1871 . 1949)
    The signature ,without doubt, belong to Fortuny Y Marsal (1835 – 1874).

    Pls. tell me if You like to receive some photo of paintings of Mariano Fortuny Y Madrazo (my property)

    Best regards

    Busetto Giorgio
    Venice – Italy

    • annonusko

      Hello Mr. Giorgio,

      Thank you so much for the information. I will correct my post.

      I would love to see your painting photos of Mariano Fortuny Y Madrazo. I love his fabrics and paintings and it is difficult to find good information in the US. I wish I could visit Italia and see his work in person! I may be coming in October.

      It was very nice of you to take the time to reply to my blog. Again, thank you!

      -Ann Onusko Great Lakes Decorative Arts Studio All things paint and plaster…


    Hello Mrs. Ann

    I try many times to send to You the photos that I promise You, but I am not able to insert the photos inside Your blog; but I am able to send inside an e-mail , but I don’t know Your e-mail address.
    So there are two ways to resolve the problem : the first is that You explain me how to insert photos inside Your blog, the second is to receive Your e-mail address.
    Thank you


  3. I’m writing an article on fortuny and I’d like to use your photos. May I ask the permission to the authors? Thank you.

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