Mariano Fortuny House-Museum: one of the most unusual museums in Venice has reopened

A tiny treasure trove in the heart of the city on the lagoon: what was once a tiny workshop devoted to textiles has been transformed into a cultural centre. The late Gothic style Palazzo Pesaro degli Orfei was the home and workshop of the creative Spaniard, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo and his wife, Henriette Nigrin. Painter, fashion designer, photographer, stage designer, engraver, brilliant designer and experimenter, in the early twentieth century he transformed the Palace into a benchmark for the European, intellectual elite and a production centre in cosmopolitan Venice. 
The House-Museum, known as Palazzo Fortuny, has been renovated after the damage caused by the disastrous, high tide floods of Venice in 2019: today, it is a permanent museum and temporary exhibition space for contemporary art.  The rooms are imbued with the inspired innovation and experimentation of the brilliant artist, Mariano Fortuny. The splendid Portego [entrance hall] in particular is one of the most beautiful halls in the Venetian Civic Museums. Painting, sculpture, stage lighting, photography, precious clothes and fabrics that entirely cover the walls.
Palazzo Fortuny is a definite must-see during your visit to Venice!

Who was Mariano Fortuny

Following in his parents' footsteps, his artistic studies introduced him to the great world of Paris. At the age of eighteen, he settled in Venice, where he participated in international, academic circles and artistic suppers: his friends included D’Annunzio, Eleonora Duse, Marchesa Casati and Prince Fritz Hohenlohe-Waldenburg. After a trip to Bayreuth, he became profoundly attracted to Wagner's music and his interests shifted to stage design and lighting. However, Mariano's creative genius was always seeking new stimuli: in 1924, he began to create printed fabrics and textiles with the help of his wife, Henrietta. Together, they created Delphos, the destructured, pleated, silk gown that would make him famous throughout the world.  Another of Fortuny's great project inventions was the first plaster model of the stage lighting system named "Cupola", which he constructed to bring indirect, diffused light to theatres throughout Europe. His suspended chandeliers, inspired by the planets, and his sophisticated, printed cottons and velvets for interior decorating were also famous.
For the first time, over 90% of the objects and works belonging to Mariano Fortuny's world are exhibited altogether in his House-Museum.

Would you like to visit the Mariano Fortuny House-Museum?

Palazzo Fortuny is part of the Venice Civic Museum circuit.  Although far from the popular routes frequented by streams of tourists, thousands of people visit it every day, fascinated by the collections and atmosphere of one of the most iconic places in Venice. The ground floor houses contemporary works of art and the first floor exhibits the wonderful Venetian masterpieces of a city with a prestigious past. Don't miss the splendid, internal, Venetian-style courtyard. The new exhibition has been curated by Maestro Pier Luigi Pizzi, a well-known film director and stage designer, together with Gabriella Belli and Chiara Squarcina from the Venice Civic Museum Foundation.

Info to visit >

The hotel Locanda Art Deco is 5 minutes on foot from Mariano Fortuny House-Museum.  

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We will be happy to welcome you to our tiny hotel.  


We look forward to seeing you in Venice!