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Artist Mariano Fortuny, biography and paintings



The talented and gifted artist and orientalist Mariano Fortuny was born on June 11, 1838, in in the Spanish city of Reus, in Catalonia. He lived a bright and interesting life, which was full of light, love, and kindness, resembling a kaleidoscope of exciting happening and fireworks of creative inspiration.

Mariano was an orphan; after his parents had passed away, the grandfather, who loved him so much, took care of his upbringing. The grandfather was a carpenter in a workshop and used to create was figures and figurines in his spare time. Mariano was fond of his work, and gladly helped his grandfather with painting the products. The boy showed an early interest in drawing and got acquainted with a local artist and learning how to paint from him. He painted votive pictures, people, as well as nature and animals, loving to communicate with the outside world to dream, to think, to create!

Young Mariano was fascinated by sculpture. At the age of fourteen, he took a trip to Barcelona, to meet the sculptor Talarn, who was the one to discover Mariano’s many-sided art talents. Thanks to his patron, the Mariano studied free of charge at the School of Fine Arts. During that time, he was also granted a scholarship. He spent his first money on traveling to Rome, where he admired the masterpieces of brilliant artists, and continued his education. His remarkable ability to work was admired by all his mentors and teachers.

When he was twenty-one, Mariano Fortuny traveled to Africa with the intention to collect materials for using in his work on writing a battle canvas dedicated to the victory of the Spanish army, and spent about three months there, discovering the gift of a colorist. This is where he obtained so many vivid impressions, and got familiar with oriental culture, life, customs, and traditions of African tribes; he was inspired by exotic nature and noticed many new things. He was enchanted by the brightness and color effects of this amazing country, making every day in Africa truly unforgettable for him! The East surprised and totally conquered him. He started working even harder than before! Owing to the eastern country, his talent flourished and shone with all the colors of perfection. The sun of his creativity illuminated the soul with pure inspiration.

The following year, he traveled to Morocco, where to be appointed by the chronicler at the headquarters of the Spanish expedition. During this trip, the master discovered so many new things, working hard and painting sketches and pictures with Arabic topics in oils and watercolors. Also, he paid great attention to engraving on metal.

The master of the brush lived his whole life in Italy, paying visits to Spain and Paris from time to time. His creation was greatly influenced by the famous artists, portrait painters, sculptors, lithographers, with whom he used to be acquainted. In fact, he made copies of some of their paintings. The master had a wonderful imagination, leading him all the way to ingenious and surprising solutions. At times, he could apply watercolor stains for the background of the picture or use a smoky paper sheet for his works.

Mariano Fortuny was married and had a daughter, Maria, and a son, Mariano; the latter named after his father and subsequently became a famous fashion designer.

Mariano Fortuny created a wealth of unsurpassed artwork! He painted wedding ceremonies and depicted churches, nature, travel, oriental motifs, and historical event in oil. The master was interested in antiquity, reflecting same in his works. Each painting of this brush master was absolutely unique! The masterpieces, created by him, shine with the clear sun of the universe, showing the life of different eras. The vivid and colorful combinations add to his works a bright star fall of art, and magical beauty, carrying the viewer away into a world full of genuine harmony of things. The master managed to skillfully convey his mood, as well as the beauty and richness of the surrounding world. Literally everyone admired his pictures!

Regretfully, Mariano Fortuny passed away early, because of malaria disease, followed in Rome on November 21, 1874. Nowadays, his paintings are exhibited in the numerous museums scattered all around the world, all of them highly recognized by society.
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