Fortuny Palazzo Museum


Portrait of Henriette Fortuny in Pompeian costume with a Delphos dress

‘Portrait of a muse’  painting by Mariano Fortuny, 1935

Portrait of Henriette Fortuny in Pompeian costume with a Delphos dress and Knossos scarf designed by Mariano Fortuny, printed with geometric, asymmetrical patterns and motifs inspired by Cycladic art


The artistic legacy of Mariano Fortuny


The Fortuny museum in San Marco, Venice, was instigated in 1956 by Henriette Fortuny, the Parisian wife and muse of Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949) . He was born in Granada, Spain where both his father and mother were known painters and collectors of ancient oriental fabrics and objects. He became to be known as one of the great creative minds of the early 20th century due to his aesthetic refinement, prolific output and versatility. He was celebrated by his contemporaries as the last Renaissance man and was a conduit to Old World craft and design finesse adapted to modern methods.. He was a legendary textile and clothing designer working in Venice and Paris where he specialized in spectacular luxury fabrics based on Byzantine, Renaissance, Arabesque and Art Nouveau styles. Venice had a centuries old connection to the ancient silk road, so it was fitting that Mariano Fortuny liked to use delicate silks in his fashion and fabric designs. Th House Of Fortuny still makes the finest printed fabrics in the world, handmade in Venice since 1907 and continues the legacy of unique innovation and timeless artistry.




Scudo Saraceno silk chandeliers and Islamic calligraphy motif doorway

Scudo Saraceno silk chandeliers and Islamic calligraphy motif doorway hanging designed by Mariano Fortuny- 1920


Mariano Fortuny possessed an artistic virtuosity that included painting, sculpture, engraving, set design, lamp designs, photography and being an Orientalist art collector. The creations of Fortuny displayed an exquisite sensitivity, modernity and originality. The Fortnuy Palazzo, being a classic example of Gothic Byzantine architecture was a very appropriate location for Fortuny to reside in and to become a museum for his art and to host other exhibitions. His fortuitous move to Venice from Paris came about due to being allergic to horses, a rare sight around the Venetian waterways.
The contemporary art featured here stands in poignant contrast to the Old World charm exuded by the lush Fortuny fabrics and decor on display at the Fortuny Museum.


Mariano Fortuny -oil painting Les coulisses de la Scala de Milan--Backstage of La Scala Theater 1934 ·

Mariano Fortuny – ‘Les coulisses de la Scala de Milan’

Backstage of La Scala Theater 1934

Since 1891 Mariano Fortuny was completely captivated by the allure of the staging of Wagner’s theatre, however many years passed before he concretely measured himself against the theatre, experimenting at length with both lighting and technology and the preparation of scenographic sketches.


Mariano Fortuny oil on canvas of angel figure

Mariano Fortuny oil on canvas

After a trip to Bayreuth, to see a Wagner production, he expanded  his interests to include set design and stage lighting techniques

Mariano Fortuny exhibition “Fortuny and Wagner. The Wagnerism in the visual arts in Italy”



Bronze sculpture bust--Vincenzo-Gemito-Ritratto-del-pittore-Mariano-Fortuny

Bronze sculpture bust of Mariano Fortuny by Vincenzo Gemito – 1874




2015 Proportio exhibibition at Palazzo Fortuny

2015 Proportio exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice



mariano-fortuny-madrazo-The Merchants of Venice

‘Il mercante di Venezia’ – Mariano Fortuny Madrazo



Mariano-Fortuny,-red silk Dressing-Gown,

Red silk dressing gown, Delphos pleated dress – Mariano Fortuny




Anish Kapoor White Dark VIII, 2000 ©JPGabriel

Current 2017 exhibition ‘Intuition’ – aims at investigating the mysteries of intuition and the forms of knowledge that cannot be explained in words.

To coincide with the 2017 Venice Art Biennale till November 26





Antony Gormley, ‘GUT X’, 2013, © JPGabriel, Palazzo Fortuny

Current 2017 exhibition ‘Intuition’


Artempo - where-time-becomes-art - inverted black head sculpture

‘Artempo – where time becomes art’ exhibition curated by Axel Vervoordt

Palazzo Fortuny 2007



four sculptural stones

‘Artempo – where time becomes art’

Palazzo Fortuny 2007




The Divine Marchesa in Venice - giovanni boldini

La marchesa Luisa Casati  – Giovanni Boldini, 1908

The Divine Marchesa Art and life of Luisa Casati – Palazzo Fortuny 2014-15


Oil on Canvas of Mariano Fortuny, Parsifal, the ascent to the Grail

Mariano Fortuny, ‘Parsifal, the ascent to the Grail’

Oil on canvas



Tullio-Dainese-flickr--Bakongo-Fetish-wood-sculpture Fotruny Palazzo

Bakongo Fetish wood sculpture – Tullio Dainese flickr

Fortuny Palazzo



Model of Villa Pisani in Stra

Model of Villa Pisani in Stra, Sante Benato and Giovanni Gloria from a drawing by Gerolamo Frigimelica, carved and painted wood, c. 1720.



De Kooning, Roberto Matta, Mark Tobey, Julien Beck ©JPGabriel

De Kooning, Roberto Matta, Mark Tobey, Julien Beck ©JPGabriel

Fortuny Palazzo current 2017 exhibition ‘Intuition’


Photo de Mariano Fortuny, les Maîtres Chanteurs de Wagner, Rome 1931

 Les Maîtres Chanteurs de Wagner, Rome 1931 – Photo de Mariano Fortuny



Wood carved sculpture bust Fortuny Palazzo

Wood carved sculpture bust Fortuny Palazzo



Classical Stone carved sculpture head

Stone carved sculpture head – Fortuny Palazzo


Contemporary sculpture Elogio-de-la-luz-XX,-1990.-Eduardo-CHILLIDA- Photo - Jean-Pierre Gabriel

‘Elogio de la luz XX’, 1990. Eduardo CHILLIDA

Photo – Jean-Pierre Gabriel – 2015

Proportio Exhibition – the exhibition explored the omnipresence of universal proportions in art, science, music and architecture.


Femme-en-buste-aux-liserons Italian Liberation white marble female bust by Fortuny

‘Femme en buste aux liserons’ Italian Liberaty Style white marble female bust by Mariano Fortuny




Fiona-Kearney Quivering,-timeless-beauty-@PalazzoFortuny-Intuition-exhibition

Fiona Kearney ‘Quivering, timeless beauty’ @PalazzoFortuny

Intuition exhibition 2017



Fortuny-Bowl-(spun and hammered copper with electroformed design, light purple enamel interior, red and orange enamel exterior1981-June-Schwarcz

‘Fortuny Bowl’ — June Schwarcz

Spun and hammered copper with electroformed design, light purple enamel interior, red and orange enamel exterior




Fortuny-ceramic Carafe-L'object

Fortuny ceramic Carafe-  L’objet




Fortuny e Caramba – Medieval motif silk applique caftan dress – Mariano Fortuny



White and gold FORTUNY-Lamp-silk-Shade

Fortuny Lamp Shade



Fortuny--Scheherazade-Fortuny®---Seta silk lamp

Fortuny–Scheherazade–Seta – Persian pattern silk on metal frame

Venetia Studium


La-Divina-Marchesa-exhibition-at-Palazzo-Fortuny,-Venice---ceramic leopard and dressed mannequins

La Divina Marchesa exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny, Venice




John-Galliano-for-Christian-Dior-Tribute-to-Marchesa-Luisa-Casati - model in Dior outifit

John Galliano for Christian Dior – Tribute to Marchesa Luisa Casati


'Gathering Clouds' by Anish Kapoor (2014) and 'The Cube' by Alberto Giacometti

‘Gathering Clouds’ by Anish Kapoor (2014) and ‘The Cube’ by Alberto Giacometti (1934-1935)

‘Artempo – where time becomes art’ 2007


Guido-Cadorin -nude-female-sculpture relief

Guido Cadorin – nude female sculpture relief

Palazzo Fortuny



Isadora Duncan's daughters wearing Fortuny's Delphos dress.

Isadora Duncan’s daughters wearing Fortuny’s Delphos pleated silk dresses

 ‘Delphos’ gowns were dyed individually in a wide range of unusual colours. Delicate silk was processed on porcelain rollers to create fine, uneven pleats, one of Fortuny’s innovations.The technique used to process the silk is still shrouded in mystery. Designed in 1907, the loose flowing gown freed women from the constraints of the corset. Fortuny merged his love for medieval history and classical Greece with a fascination for technology and the skills of the craftsman.



Face relief sculpture

La Divina Marchesa exhibition at Palazzo Fortuny



Ancient artifact Lady-of-Saint-Sernin-–-Anthropomorphic-Figure-‘Statue-Menhir’-–-Sandstone-–-4th—3th-millennium

‘Lady of Saint Sernin’ –- Anthropomorphic Figure ‘Statue Menhir’-–-Sandstone

4th—3th millennium

Fortuny palazzo ‘Intuition’ exhibition 2017


 Model of modernist building, Le Corbusier’s, ‘Poissy'

 Model of modernist building, Le Corbusier’s, ‘Poissy’

Proportio Exhibition 2015



handbag-cut-and-hand-crafted-from-exclusive-archival-Fortuny-velvet-brocades---Marin-HopperLimited-edition handbag cut and hand-crafted from exclusive archival Fortuny velvet brocades – Marin Hopper


Paul-Cèsar Helleu, Giovanni Boldini and Luisa Casati wearing an Indo-Persian costume

Paul-Cèsar Helleu, Giovanni Boldini and Luisa Casati wearing an Indo-Persian costume in the garden of Palazzo de’ Leoni, house of Peggy Guggenheim in Venice. Photograph by Mariano Fortuny, 1913

Marchesa Luisa Casati was renowned for her unique and haunting image, one that she carefully cultivated in order to become a “living work of art.”



Mariano Fortuny painting, 'Gypsy Dancing in the Garden of Granada'

Mariano Fortuny, ‘Gypsy Dancing in the Garden of Granada’, 1872



Mariano-Fortuny-Wagner oil painting

Mariano Fortuny


Fortuny designed theatre costume

Mariano Fortuny designed theatre costume



Mariano Fortuny Stage scenery-Fortuny Museum Venice

Mariano Fortuny Stage scenery

Fortuny Museum Venice




Maurizio Donzelli proportio mirror

Proportio Exhibition 2015



Palazzo Fortuny -–- The Bottega Cadorin—A Dynasty of Venetian Artists exhibition



Pierre Alichinsky, ‘Cobra vivant’ 1975

photo ©JPGabriel

Fortuny palazzo ‘Intuition’ exhibition 2017



Bronze Ballerina sculpture

Ballerina sculpture  Fortuny Museum



Long velvet coat by Fortuny


Black stenciled long  velvet stage cortume 1920 – Mariano Fortuny



Three fortuny-bowls-L'objet

Fortuny bowls L’objet



Fortuny collaborated with L’Objet to produce these ceramic canape plates with old world Venetian textile patterns




Eloisa Reverie Vezzosi, Palazzo Fortuny

Proportio Exhibition 2015




Hare Apparent’ installation of Izhkar Patkin

Photo Jean Pierre Gabriel

Proportio Exhibition 2015



Works by Victor Vasarelly and Tomas Saraceno-Photo Jean Pierre Gabriel

Proportio Exhibition 2015



Renato Bertelli, Marchesa Casati sculptur busst, 1920. Collezione Sgarbi Cavallini.

Renato Bertelli, Marchesa Casati sculpture bust, 1920.

Collezione Sgarbi Cavallini.


Saint Anne and the Virgin Mary-Intuition

Saint Anne and the Virgin Mary – Fortuny palazzo Intuition exhibition





 Luisa Casati portrait by John Augustus 

The Divine Marchesa Casati exhibition




 Marchesa Casati with peacock pens Giovanni Boldini 1914

Marchesa Casati with peacock pens Giovanni Boldini




The Divine Marchesa – sculpture by Paolo Troubetzkoy – Portrait of the Marchesa Casati with Greyhound – bronze – 1914

 Bronze sculpture by Paolo Troubetzkoy – Portrait of the Marchesa Casati with Greyhound, 1914

The Divine Marchesa Casati exhibition, Palazzo Fortuny



The-Rare-Vase-1870-Mariano-Fortuny A man admiring a vase on a pedestal

‘The Rare Vase’  —  Mariano-Fortuny




The Valkyrie- the embrace of Siegmund and Sieglinde, canvas Mariano Fortuny

The Valkyrie-  ‘The embrace of Siegmund and Sieglinde’, canvas – Mariano Fortuny



Alhembra Vaso_Fortuny3_Hermitage Museum

Vaso de Fortuny,  –  Hispano moresque ceramic Alhambra with metallic reflections from Málaga (Spain) dating from the fourteenth century preserved in the Hermitage Museum (St. Petersburg)



Veiled-Lady-sculpture bust--Antonio-Corradini

‘Veiled Lady’ sculpture bust– Antonio Corradini




The-Mendicant-Mariano-Fortuny pAINTING

‘The Mendicant’ — Mariano Fortuny



L'OBJET-Fortuny-4 CERAMIC Cereal-Bowls

L’Obbjet – Fortuny bowls



'Hindu Snake Charmers' - Mariano Fortuny

Encantador_de_serps ‘Hindu Snake Charmers’ – Mariano Fortuny

On a number of occasions, Fortuny returned to North Africa, where the clarity of the atmosphere and the intensity of the sunlight profoundly influenced him. In this scene, set outdoors at twilight, a turbaned Indian mesmerizes a cobra with a reed. The artist, a collector of Islamic decorative arts, includes such accessories as a copper bowl, luster plate, and saddle.




The Alhambra Vase Early century Nasrid period Earthenware painted over glaze Spain Mariano Fortuny, the framed

The Alhambra Vase Early century Nasrid period Earthenware painted over glaze Spain. Mariano Fortuny designed frame




Mariano Fortuny oil on canvas painting - The-Stamp-Collector

Mariano Fortuny oil on canvas painting – ‘The Stamp Collector’

Museum of Fine Arts, Boston




Hispano-Moresque-ceramic lustre ware----

Hispano Moresque ceramic lustre ware plate


Artempo where time-becomes-art Buddah statue

Buddha statue – Artempo where time becomes art exhibition





La-Vague-–-Gustave-Courbet-(France) oil painting of the ocean waves

‘La Vague’ -–- Gustave Courbet (France)

Fortuny palazzo ‘Intuition’ exhibition 2017



– designed to provoke the elusive intuitive faculties. Curated by Axel Vervoordt with the exhibition skills of Daniela Ferretti – running to Nov. 26 2017

Intuition’ starts with totems, shamanism and iconography from the early history, when men tried to understand the link between the sky and the earth. There will be modern works by Vassily Kandinsky, Paul Klee, Hilma af Klint, Kazuo Shiraga, Pierre Alechinsky, Günther Uecker, Lucio Fontana, Mario Deluigi and Joseph Beuys. Surrealist works include André Breton, André Masson, Paul Eluard, Remedios Varo and Victor Brauner, but also Raoul Ubac, Man Ray, Henry Michaux, Oscar Dominguez or Joan Miró. Finally, contemporary artists are also featured, such as Robert Morris, William Anastasi, Isa Genzken, Renato Leotta, Susan Morris, Marina Abramovic, Chung Chang-Sup, Ann Veronica Janssens and Anish Kapoor.

The team has asked Kimsooja, Alberto Garutti, Kurt Ralske, Bruna Esposito and Nicola Martini to create site-specific installations. All art works will be spread over the beautiful rooms on the different floors of the Palazzo Fortuny.





1 Comment

  1. Posted September 1, 2017 at 9:14 pm | Permalink

    Thanks Robbie for the Venetian show and history info. Very interesting.I have been reading about Venice , getting prepared for my exhibition I have been invited to by the GAA foundation in a collateral show of the Venice Architecture Biennale 2018 at the European Cultural Center Palazzo Bemba and Palazzo Mora! best Allison

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