Museo Fortuny, housed in a late Gothic palace, is one of the most expressive Venice museums. The museum's collection pays tribute to the life and work of Mariano Fortuny. The captivating collection features art, designer pieces, and fascinating antiques. Palazzo Fortuny is a must for those looking for a remarkable visual experience.
Getting to the museum
Museo Fortuny stands on Campo San Beneto in San Marco, the most popular neighborhood on the Venice map. Palazzo Fortuny is only a few minutes from St Mark's Square and the best-known Venice attractions. If you prefer to arrive by vaporetto, the closest stops are Sant'Angelo and San Samuele.
History & architecture
Palazzo Fortuny emerged in the 15th century and originally belonged to the Pesaro family. Yet, in the following centuries, it had a few different owners. In 1906, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, purchased the building. Don Mariano was born in Spain and moved to Venice in 1889. Fortuny was also a painter, sculptor, set designer, photographer, and scientist, known mainly for his fantastic pleated silk dresses.
His passion for set design led him to invent the Fortuny Dome used in theater performances to create the illusion of the sky. Palazzo Fortuny served as his home and a studio where he created. In 1919, he opened the Fortuny Fabrics, a factory on Giudecca island that still operates today. In 1956, his wife, Henrietta, donated Palazzo Fortuny to the city. Later, in 1975, the palace became known to the public as Museo Fortuny.
Why you should visit
The museum located in Palazzo Fortuny is somewhat unusual among Venice art museums. It houses a collection showcasing the life and artistic career of the multitalented Don Mariano. The spacious rooms contain precious fabrics, paintings, photographs, decorative panels, and designer dresses. The interior is overwhelming, with many pieces to see and explore.
The fabrics were Fortuny's creation which combined Renaissance techniques and ancient dyes. The dresses, including the famous Delphos dress from 1909, were milestones in 20th-century women's fashion. Moreover, as a scientist, Don Mariano left behind an intriguing series of lamps and chandeliers, which he built to copy the effect of sunlight. In addition, there is always a temporary exhibition running in Museo Fortuny.
Things to do in the area
San Marco is the most central and best-known Venice neighborhood. It is easy to find all the best Venice attractions on this part of the Venice map. Some curious places nearby include two of the finest Venice theaters - Teatro Goldoni and Teatro La Fenice. If you want a unique insight into the city's past and an incredible rooftop view, head to Scala Contarini del Bovolo. To explore more Venice museums, don't skip the Music Museum nearby. In addition, the famous Rialto area, with the Rialto Bridge and a market, is a few minutes away.