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Object Timeline

-0001

1920

  • Work on this object began.

1929

  • Work on this object ended.

2006

2012

2019

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Textile, Fiore, 1920s

This is a Textile. It was designed by Mariano Fortuny. It is dated 1920s and we acquired it in 2006. Its medium is cotton and its technique is dyed and printed. It is a part of the Textiles department.

Fiore was designed by Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo and more than likely woven on a narrow loom in his home. The Fortuny Factory, on the island of Giudecca in Venice, opened in 1922, but half-width fabrics such as this example were discontinued completely by the mid-1920s. The pattern is based on a Persian silk pattern and continues to be made today, although not in this color combination. The ground fabric has a marbled effect in shades of purple and pink, possibly achieved with a partial discharge technique, and is overprinted with silver ink in a pattern of stylized flowers and vines.
Fortuny began his career as a painter, etcher, and sculptor, but early on developed an interest in design and decorative arts, creating textiles, fashions, lamps, furniture, interiors, and designs for the stage. Believing that the artist should control every detail of production, Fortuny also invented and patented his own processes and machinery in areas as varied as photography, lighting design, and textile printing.
Fortuny was born in Madrid and raised in Paris. He eventually made Venice his home and established his business there. His textile mill has remained in almost continuous operation since it began with the introduction of the Delphos dress in 1907, only closing briefly after Fortuny’s death. Fortuny’s textile designs draw heavily on the woven silks of Renaissance Italy, but also are inspired by the Persian silks, Coptic Egyptian ornament, and classical Greek garment styles he encountered in his extensive travels. Although he emulated the patterns, rich colors, and metallic sheen of these woven silks, Fortuny used silkscreen technology and his own patented dyeing and printing processes, which involved natural dyes, discharge or bleaching agents, and metallic inks.
Fiore is part of a proposed gift of three Fortuny textiles. Together, the pieces would enhance the small collection of Fortuny fabrics held by the museum at the time of acquisition, which includes a stencil-printed curtain panel, a stencil-printed silk tunic, a dyed and printed cotton velvet with silk pile, and a cotton fabric made by the same process as the pieces offered.

This object was donated by Esme Usdan. It is credited Gift of Esme Usdan.

Its dimensions are

Warp x Weft: 351 x 68 cm (11 ft. 6 3/16 in. x 26 3/4 in.)

It is inscribed

Printed along edge: Soc. An. Fortuny

Cite this object as

Textile, Fiore, 1920s; Designed by Mariano Fortuny (Spanish, active Italy, 1871 - 1949); Italy; cotton; Warp x Weft: 351 x 68 cm (11 ft. 6 3/16 in. x 26 3/4 in.); Gift of Esme Usdan; 2006-19-1

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<ref name=CH>{{cite web |url=https://collection.cooperhewitt.org/objects/18699959/ |title=Textile, Fiore, 1920s |author=Cooper Hewitt, Smithsonian Design Museum |accessdate=22 May 2019 |publisher=Smithsonian Institution}}</ref>