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A Mariano Fortuny Gold and Silver Printed Velvet Evening Coat - Venice Circa 1920-1930

Circa 1920-1930

Italy - Venice

Ample winter coat for the evening in green-yellow velvet printed with gold and silver woodblock and signed Mariano Fortuny Venice. It borrows from the Italian Renaissance the famous pomegranate and pineapple motif that was used in Venice and Constantinople in the 16th century.  It is padded and lined with rust-coloured silk ottoman, and is crossed in front, punctuated by a large button. The V-neck is gathered and bubbled, revealing the lining to accentuate its opulent effect. The woodblock printed velvet is in excellent condition. The silk lining, however, has some sun damage and a 20 cm restoration at the bottom. Round sewn label indicating Mariano Fortuny Venice. Stable fabrics with no major defects apart from those described. Good general condition of colour and conservation. Can be worn as is without any problem. Exhibited and catalogued at Villa Rosemaine in 2022.

Dimensions: Large size equivalent 44-48 France. Height 122 cm. Sleeves 57 cm, sleeve width 35 cm. Chest 100-110 cm. Flat measurements of the coat circumference: waist 134 cm, hips 176 cm, bottom of the coat 200 cm.

In the cosy atmosphere of the Palazzo Pesaro-Orfei, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871-1949), known as the magician of Venice, exhibited his creations for a privileged clientele. His father was a famous Spanish painter and Mariano was guided all his life in his creations by the taming of light. Let us quote Marcel Proust (La Prisonnière, 1923).

The shimmering of the fabric, a deep blue which, as my gaze went on, changed into malleable gold by the same transmutations which, in front of the gondola which advances, change into flaming metal the azure of the Grand Canal.

The chromatic range and changing effects of his printed textiles magnify his borrowings from the decorative repertoire of the Italian Renaissance. His skilful prints based on metallic powders on silk velvet pay homage to Byzantine, Ottoman and Persian influences and are an invitation to the fluidity of the body and to shimmering atmospheres. Mariano Fortuny remains in perfect harmony with the creations of his time, including those of Paul Poiret who made the same type of coat for his own account.

Similar reference in the exhibition "Fortuny, a Spaniard in Venice" Palais Galliera, Paris 2017.