Alongside his work in lighting and fashion, Mariano Fortuny is recognised as having a unique and inspired eye for interior design.
Real genius can be seen in the way he blended the design techniques and trends of the old and new worlds to fit the needs of industrial manufacturing.
Fortuny drew on an assortment of disparate influences, borrowed from an array of the world’s diverse cultures. His influences ranged from the Renaissance period and the styles and fashions of Classic Venice, to Exoticism, whilst also cherry-picking accentuated styles from the Far East, Africa, Central America and Polynesia.
Italian interior design in the early 1900s was synonymous with an air of class and sophistication. Venice in particular acting as the heart of a burgeoning scene, having been overshadowed in the previous two centuries by the trendsetting, cultural epicentre of Paris and the ever on-trend French fashion.
“Faithfully unique but markedly original” was a term used to describe Fortuny’s approach to interiors, as he, like many Italian designers of the time, mined the past as a source of inspiration and ideas, whilst also looking to introduce a sense of colour and incorporate new technologies.
This is something apparent in his progressively functional lamp designs. As traditional or modernistic as Fortuny’s designs may be, they always adhere to a high level of taste and sophistication. A refrain that ran, and continues to run, deep within the genetic make-up of Italian design.
To this day, Fortuny’s work remains highly coveted by those looking to add a touch of class to their interiors. He produced a plethora of nuanced pieces with visionary flair, including lamps, sofas, pillows, draperies, bed coverings, tablecloths, and beautifully decorated napkins.
These trademark creations have become staples of home living and continue to decorate and populate the houses of many, transcending the generations of old and young.