One of the most inspiring corners of Venezia is palazzo Pesaro Orfei. Here is the house of Mariano Fortuny, which, at the beginning of the XX century, became his headquarter.
Mariano Fortuny was a very eclectic artist, as reflected in his collection of precious velvets and clothes, and in the wide range of his works from paintings to theatre.
His Venetian palace in Campo San Beneto is our "must see" every time we land in the lagoon.
An incredibly creative person, an all-round artist, he mastered the art of printing on fabric, and pioneered the union between "Pure Art" and "Applied Art".
The achievements that he is most well known for are those in the field of fashion design.
Fortuny rebelled against the style lines popular in that period, and created the Delphos Gown, a shift dress made of finely pleated silk weighed down by glass beads that hold its shape and flow on the body.
The pleating that he used was all done by hand.
No one has been able to recreate pleating that is as fine as his ones, or which hold shape like his dresses have for many years.
He also manufactured his own dyes and pigments, using ancient methods.
With these dyes he began printing on velvets and silks and tinted them using a press that he invented with wooden blocks onto which he engraved the pattern.
His dresses are seen today as fine works of art and many survive, still pleated, in museums and personal collections.
His work later led to modernism and to the birth of contemporary design.
Its fabrics and style influenced the fashion and interior decoration scene of the early 1920s "Belle Epoque".