FortunyMariano

Biography

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871-1949) was son to the painter Mariano Fortuny y Marsal who also collected ancient oriental fabrics with his wife. Mariano's father died when he was three years old, and the family soon moved to Paris where Mariano was educated and started painting. He showed artistic talent as a child and was fascinated in his parents’ textiles collection. In 1889 the family relocated to Venice where Mariano spent his spare time in the Museum of Venice. He also travelled around Europe seeking inspiration from great artists and became heavily involved in the theatre, particularly lighting engineering.Fortuny is famously known as a fashion designer, establishing himself at the turn of the twentieth century. He was often inspired by ancient styles such as Grecian dresses. Henrietta Negrin, Fortuny’s wife, was an experienced dressmaker and helped her husband to develop and make his designs. They worked from their home, a Palazzo in Venice. In the early 1900s, Fortuny invented methods of textile dyeing and printing fabrics reproducing the depth, colour and beauty of ancient brocades and velvets. His styles and techniques encompassed elements from both Western art and The Orient, both ancient and modern. Mariano Fortuny’s fabrics and dresses are today seen as works of art and can be seen in museums around the world.

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