Of all the textile companies producing fabrics today, Fortuny is by far the most mysterious. Their legendary printing processes are like a riddle wrapped inside a mystery cocooned inside an enigma; understood by none except the chosen few who are entrusted with the priceless secrets. Founded by the Enigmatic Mariano Fortuny in the early 18th century, Fortuny fabrics are incredibly valuable. They often retail for well over $600 per yard.
Mariano Fortuny was born into a family of acclaimed artists in Grenada, Spain in 1871. It was soon apparent to those around him that he was an incredibly talented painter and also possessed other magnificent artistic gifts. He and his family traveled extensively, allowing the young Mariano to be influenced the great European, Greek, and Egyptian artists. It was from the great musical composer Richard Wagner that Fortuny learned the aesthetic ideals that would propel him to greatness: That no artistic discipline was greater than another and that an artist should control even the smallest details of their process from the initial conception through to the final execution of an idea.
Many people feel that it was Mariano Fortuny's curiosity, coupled with his unrivaled talent, that separated him from his contemporaries. He was a true Renaissance Man who did much much more than just paint. He raised the bar in both architecture and photography and created many important inventions including one of the first dimmer switches (It's not quite the piano key necktie, Mariano, but still mighty impressive for a man of your era). Fortuny really started to focus on textiles when he met Henriette Negrin in 1897. His fervid love for her was the coal that fueled him to create many of his eternal masterpieces. Henreitte moved to Fortuny's Venetian home and studio, the Palazzo Orfei, in 1902 and married him soon after. With the magnificent Henriette by his side, Fortuny began work on the prestigious textiles that are still manufactured to this day. The production of these textiles was the culmination of his knowledge of engineering, color, design, and art into a manifestation of pure artistic genius.
Inspired by 15th century Florence, 17th century Venice, Asia, Persia, South America, Egypt, China, and Greece; Fortuny's textile designs have an almost mystical appearance. He used his own formulation of dyes and pigments based on the ancient techniques of the masters, giving his fabrics the look of genuine antiquity. Across the world Fortuny's designs were applauded as being so magnificent that they transcended all earthly description. Fortuny's textiles were so mystifying that unfounded rumors of magic and sorcery began to develop.
In 1927 Elsie Mcneill, an American Interior Designer, became mesmerized with Fortuny's textiles when she saw them during a trip to Paris. She strongly felt that his textiles could be marketed for private residences through Interior Designers and Decorators and arranged a meeting with him. She soon became his close confidante and sole U.S. distributor of his fabrics at 509 Madison Avenue in New York City.
Mariano Fortuny died in 1949 in his Venice home he left one of the great design legacies of all time. His fabrics are more desired than any other and are sold exclusively to Licensed Interior Designers and Architects for staggering sums of money. But, luckily, here at Design Diva Fabrics we use our own brand of magic and sorcery to bring you these timeless fabrics for mystifyingly low prices.