Tuesday, May 17, 2011

Oh, Fortuny! How I Love Thee!!

"Fortuny". That name does something to me. It conjures-up beautiful, romantic images of years gone by. I'm a collector of Fortuny. Not only of his lamps, (reproductions!!) but also the books written about him, as well as the tiniest scraps of his fabrics that I can get my hands on!
Mariano Fortuny is my absolute favorite designer/artist!

This is my favorite Fortuny lamp.

I have one of these small, cone-shaped lamps too.

But I really love the glow that comes from the large one. Comfy-cozy!

Then there are the books. The books with photographs of the most elegant, beautiful dresses, made from the most gorgeous fabrics ever!

He took the secrets of his pleating on silk and fabric-painting techniques with him to his grave. According to the books written about him, he only shared the secrets with one of the ladies that worked for him for many, many years. And she didn't tell either!
Drives me crazy, actually! I want to know!!

Another one of my favorite books. Page after glorious, glossy, colorful page!

I believe Amazon.com carries these books, for all of you other Fortuny lovers out there.
(I've spent so much money on books, I think Amazon has a portrait of me, hanging in their corporate office.)

I think I have all of the Fortuny books now. (But I'm afraid to check!)

I even found a book written about his father, another fabulous oil painter!
A really wonderful book. I didn't want it to end.

Mariano was an oil painter as well as a fabric/clothing/stage designer and a ton of other things!

Remember the "tiniest scraps of his fabrics" that I mentioned earlier?
Well, here they are! I love to hold them in my hand...

And imagine being in his studio, in Venice, while he's working on them. For a fabric designer, that's pure bliss!

His work is such an inspiration! Here's a piece of velvet I designed. It was white when I began.
The white line is actually the shine of the panne-velvet. "Fortuny Influence", 46" x 72".

Back to my stash of fabrics - I especially love the pieces with the gold background.
Unfortunately, I've never found any of his spectacular velvets.

These colors are a little hard to see in a small photograph, but trust me, they're luscious.

Here come my larger pieces. I didn't crop this photo so that you could get a better idea of the size of the fabrics. Okay... I have to tell you that I tried to iron a couple of the pieces and they acted funny. I was really careful with the temperature setting, but they still wanted to curl-up on the corners. For fear of damaging them, I decided against ironing! And if you know me at all, you'll know how those creases are driving me crazy!!

Close up of the creases... I mean fabric.

Love this.

Another piece, full length.

Close up.

Same piece.

Another one. I always wonder what the people selling these, made with the rest of it.

Close up.

It's hard to see the shine of the metallic, but it's stunning.

Here's an interesting, but simple pattern.

Up close and personal.

Another large piece.

And the close up.

And here is my absolute favorite one!! Silver-metallic and baby-blue!!

This is the oldest one in the bunch. One of his earliest pieces. I love it!!
And this is the one I handle very carefully.

It still has tags on it. Love that! I'm glad they don't still have a "Los Angeles Office", because I'd go broke!!

I was so happy when I found the tags on that piece.

I have no idea what they mean, but I was happy. Old tags are cool.

Finally, you can see a little shimmer from the silver-metallic! Gorgeous!!

One of his earliest signatures. Awesome! My oldest and favorite piece of fabric!!

Here are his pleated silks. They are not wrinkles. Not like my pieces. :(

Born in Granada, Spain, 1871. Died in Venice, Italy, 1949.
What a talented human being!! Love him!! ~~

There are SO many things to love!
I love "Followers" and comments too!
(Thank you.)

Signing off for now,


  1. Truly beautiful beyond worldly description & YOU my dear are also SO talented. From a novice-have you tried light steam on the creases?

  2. What a touching post; your love of fabric and texture shines through. Everytime I come here I feel at peace with my soul.

  3. I love that first lamp and look how the dress just drapes beautifully!

  4. Gabriele- WOW! What a lot of information! I loved this post! The fabrics and pictures you chose are amazing. You are really an amazing artist yourself...and I LOVE that dress that you wish you owned! I would mud wrestle you for that one...well..okay not MUD wrestle but how about a Paper, Rock, Scissors contest? xxooDiana

  5. Thank you, everyone, for the wonderful compliments!! They bring a big smile to my face.

    Lora, thanks for that tip. If I ever get brave enough, I may try that on a small piece to start.

    Rita, what a wonderful thing to hear!!

    Grandmother, that lamp is one of my favorite things. I could stare up at it for a really long time. And do!

    Nana Diana, you're ON!!!! :)

    Again, thanks all!

  6. never heard of him! his work is exquisite. so are your velvet scarves! WOW!!!

  7. kelli, I agree about his work! What an amazing talent!!
    SO happy you like my velvets! :) Thank you!

  8. I have never heard of him before! What remarkable design!! Love it - thank you for sharing! And that velvet piece is so beautiful it hurts! : D

  9. I also have never heard of him before. Thanks for introducing me to such a wonderful designer!
    Love all the display items!!! I agree with you, his work is brilliant!

    Hope your day is going great!
    the other Gabriele :)

  10. Amy Rose and Gaby Bee (the other Gabriele:)
    I'm so glad that I was able to introduce you to his work.
    Ohhh, to be in Venice and visit his museum!!
    A girl can dream.
    Thank you for the wonderful compliment!

  11. So I take it from that post you LOVE Fortuny!! LOL.....beautiful fabrics indeed. I love the dress but imagine you need the figure to go in it...te he. The lamp is truly beautiful.

    Thanks for the comments on my blog....yes the boys are seriously cute. Now Henry lives in town he comes for visits to the farm to talk to the hens, walk in the woods and generally have adventures with Fred. They are a delight to watch....just like a couple of kids.

    I felt the sheep fabric was so appropriate considering we live on a sheep farm and Geoff so loves sheep.

    Thanks for sharing your beautiful fabric collection.

  12. Thank you for the introduction. I had never heard of Fortuny before. Beautiful stuff! I'm partial to yours, though. ;)

  13. This is so fascinating, such an education. I didn't know about Fortuny before, but now I shall have to explore more. And your velvet scarves are just stunningly beautiful. What a fabric artist you are. Fortuny would love your work! As I do.


  14. Rena, yes, I love Fortuny. How could you tell? :)
    Enjoy those doggies! They're too cute!!

    Lisa, thank you so much for that wonderful compliment!!

    Angella, thank you for those incredible kind words!!

    Since you guys had never heard of Fortuny before, I'm glad that I was able to share a tiny bit of him with you.

    Thanks again, to all of you, for the comments and compliments!!