The name Fortuny recalls the most famous European fabrics and fashion designer of the first half of the 20th century and the most influential as well. Mariano has lived and worked most of his life in Venice until his death in 1949 in the Palazzo Pesaro where he moved for the first time in 1898 to became both his abode and factory. The palace is a true Gothic gem and a perfect example of noble residence built in the 15th century for a new branch of the Pesaro family.
Read more here about the history of the building.
Mariano Fortuny was a most eclectic artist with interests in painting, photography, theatric light engineering and stage setting, and costumes, fashion and fabrics designing for which he became world famous.
Read more here about him.
In this tour we’ll go first over Fortuny’s life and carrer visiting his palace. The large ground floor is used nowadays for exhibits while the first floor once his abode and studio shows a large variety of what he produced in terms of dress, fabrics, paintings, lamps and personal memorabilia. The overall effect is like Mariano is still living there and could show up at any time welcoming you and start showing some of its latest designs sitting on a sofà. The second floor also used for exhibits was Mariano’s first factory where many specialized workers produced his beautiful fabrics and printing colors.
Besides being related to Fortuny’s life his palazzo is also a great example of Gothic Venetian architecture providing thus the opportunity to recall the life and deeds of a preeminent Venetian noble family at the end of the Middle Ages. The tour is then also an historical journey into Venetians merchant’s life of in their heydays.
The tour will continue into an area of Venice tourists seldom go, the Giudecca island separated from the main urban area by the largest of all canals now and then the main water access to the city for large ships. Right there after the end of WWI Mariano Fortuny opened his own modern facility for producing on larger scale his renowned fabrics. And this will be our second and final stop in our tour. On demand the Fortuny staff opens the factory’s building door to show you a selection of the present production and also to let us visit the magnificent garden where different kinds of flowers and plants are grown. The only area the company management bans from outsider’s view is the actual factory, the secret of Mariano’s beautiful and unique fabrics is still very well kept.