Unfortunate Mariano Fortuny

Day 198 of Colourisation Project – November 21

Challenge: to publish daily a colourised photo that has some significance around the day of publication.

Marià Fortuny i Marsal also known as Mariano Fortuny, was one of the most eminent figures of nineteenth century Catalan painting.  Noted for his richly pictorial works and bravura style, he acquired an international reputation in a very short time.

Mariano Fortuny

Photogravure: Goupil et Cie – Mariano Fortuny – Coloured by Loredana Crupi 

Anecdotal themes and colorful, vibrant iridescent brushstrokes highlight his fascination with eastern culture.  His distinctive style preceded the impressionist movement and examples of his work can be seen here.

In 1859 Fortuny was commissioned by the Spanish government to depict the campaigns of the Spanish-Moroccan War. The six months he spent in Morocco deeply influenced his style and artistic direction. He was just as competent in watercolor as he was in oils. His work is infused with light, color and and that is what I have attempted to infuse into today’s colourisation.

Just as he was at the height of his fame, Fortuny’s life came to an end in Rome, where he died somewhat suddenly on this day 21st of November in 1874, from an attack of malarial fever, contracted while painting in the open air at Naples and Portici in the summer of 1874. He was 36 years old.

He left behind his wife and young 3 year old son , Marià Fortuny y Madrazo, who went on to become a prominent fashion and tapestry designer.


 “He is the master of us all…Ah Fortuny, I cannot rest because of you.”  –  Henri Regnault (French painter, 1843 – 1871)

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