Museo Fortuny

Fortuny Palace

A WORLD OF PAPER - Isabelle de Borchgrave encounters Mariano Fortuny

The Exhibition

The Layout of the Exhibition

The exhibition involves all three floors of the museum. It forms an integral part with the permanent collection of materials relating to Fortuny and with the exhibition of ‘guest works’. These latter are by contemporary artists and are on show here for a short time – a perfect example of the on-going experimentation that has been a key part of the museum since its re-opening.

On the ground floor is a re-construction of Isabelle de Borchgrave’s studio. Visitors will be able to see her long linen-covered worktable, together with various models, drawings and tools of the trade. And, of course, there is the paper itself – in its initial state or partially worked. The material itself is used to make simulacra of pots, paintbrushes, clothing irons, scissors, etc.

On the first floor, it becomes almost impossible to distinguish between what is ‘real’ and what is ‘illusion’. The Salon is full of finely-pleated robes draped in precious veils, damasks and silks. These are Fortuny-inspired designs which Isabelle has incredibly recreated in paper. In the other rooms are other references to Fortuny’s life – the mentions of his art in the works of D’Annunzio or Proust, his work in the theatre and (within the Library) a curious trompe-l’oeil creation.
On the second floor is an extraordinary tent inspired by those to be seen in the Middle East. However, all the effects of rich embroidery and lace work are actually in paper! This again evokes Fortuny’s interest in that type of artistic language. Isabelle’s paper recreations of dress designs form a dialogue with the ‘real’ Fortuny designs and fabric prints on the walls and with the works that are currently ‘guests’ of the Museum.