What is light? It’s a special subtle substance which opens the soul of any space. A delicate touch of mysteries that reveals the silhouettes and contours of the world… A special language of silence… Art of intangible beauty – when silence is drawn through the transparent colours of fantasy. Light seems to appear in delicate details and hypnotic colour shades. Light is revealed in a charming oriental myth. It’s about Archeo Venice Design.
Archeo Venice Design art tradition
Archeo Venice Design lighting is marked with an exceptional character which is recognizable at first sight. Artistic tradition of this “light laboratory” is based on a unique art by Mariano Fortuny. A special “nature” of his silk was perfect to reveal an amazing play of light and shadows, slightly visible colour changes or hidden shades. Archeo Venice Design artisans embody the Mariano Fortuny inspired-design in the material which can be extended in time maintaining the original fascinating effects and a virgin image of delicate details.
Murano glass is perfect to reproduce an intangible twinkling of the opalescent silk shades. Through the experimentation of heat-framed materials in relationship to the decorative glass Archeo Venice Design s.r.l. has obtained results, which allows the company to obtain the industrial patent to the substantial difference in material. We can see an exact reproduction of Fortuny’s ornaments (actually, the shape of some lamps can be based on the original designs of Museo Fortuny – Palazzo Pesario degli Orfei). A rare painting art with using of gold or platina allows to create “live” patterns, and delicate beads made of Murano glass make an emphasis on a special poetics of the past.
Archeo Venice Design – a touch of the past
Any talk about Archeo Venice Design is incomplete without the mention of Mariano Fortuny. He was not a couturier, he was a creator of fabrics. It is about an amazing art which becomes a timeless myth. He was an artist whose art was created not by colour, but by touch. He could open colour as a “live” substance which has a special nature and rare beauty. Mariano Fortuny could show the invisible colours. Any dress or gown by Fortuny was marked with a simple cut and spontaneous silhouette, which reveals a true grace and female sensuality. In addition to a subtle play of colours, Fortuny’s fabrics were marked with an exceptional aesthetics of the artistic decoration. Geometric patterns, oriental ornaments, and asymmetry – it is about a special poetry realized in the nature of silk and art printing. Fortuny’s gowns were quite often decorated with the fantastic glass beads – due to this the intangible fabric found its completeness in its own sense of rhythm. Mariano Fortuny art became a new language of a special sensuality – or “sensationalism”.
In 1907 he created unique Delphos robes, which were based on ancient Greek tunic. Their borders were usually finished with Venetian colored glass beads. One could see hypnotic colour shades, a unique balance of transparency and subtle colour combinations which were changing according to light and movement. This was a special Fortuny’s language which is still being a mystery. Not a “cold” symmetry but a spontaneous character and sensuality became new dimension of the female grace and beauty. Fortuny’s design quite often was associated with Renaissance stylistics, motifs of Moroccan, Arabian and Japanese art. Mysterious Fortuny’s compositions were also inspired by 15th century Florence, 17th century Venice, Persia, Asia, Egypt and Greece. Orientalism was a charming mystery, which seemed to be visible but at the same time it was not limited by presence. It’s like “a picture everywhere and nowhere, save in imagination”.
Mariano Fortuny also created amazing lighting installations for the stage scenery and unique silk lamps, which defused light through the opalescent silk lampshades decorated with gold and oriental patterns. The experiment with light, namely – the aim to understand a special nature of this substance, when it is reflected from the various surfaces – this allowed to found unique opportunities to change the colour and intensity of light. There is a special quality of light which makes things visible. It is about indirect light technique. Fortuny could even reflect clouds on the backdrop by painting different things on the mirrors that reflected light onto the dome.
Archeo Venice Design aesthetics
Uniqueness of Fortuny’s style was based on synthesis of the oriental ornaments, Liberty motifs and ancient ethnic elements. Fortuny used the decoration techniques of printing fabrics, reproducing the depth, colour and beauty of ancient brocades, velvets and tapestries. Fortuny combined metal powder with pigments to simulate shimmering metallic thread, inspired by sixteenth-century velvets. Particular velvet was described as: “being of an intense blue which, as my gaze extended over it, was changed into malleable gold, by those same transformations which, before the advancing gondolas, change into flaming metal the azure of Grand Canal” (Proust). Fortuny was also inspired by Tintoretto, Vittore Carpaccio and stylistics of other artists which works he saw in Venetian gallery. He created thousands various ornaments with unique colour combinations.
Archeo Venice Design aesthetics reproduces Fortuny’s art in the lighting design. An exceptional nature of Murano glass allows to create an amazing play of color shades, to reproduce hypnotic opalescent silk effect and unique ornaments. A delicate silhouette of each detail, oriental mystery, silent myth of the past and magic language of colours – it is about a timeless poetics of light by Archeo Venice Design.
The Sources of photos:
- Fortuny Vintage Silk Shade by Studium Venetian with Inlaid Wood Canopy // Fortuny Vintage Silk Shade at 1STDIBS
- The lamps by Archeo Venice Design
- Gift of Countess Elsie Lee Gozzi, President and owner of Fortuny Inc., 1976 – Textiles-Printed // LUCREZIA The Metropolitan Museum of Art
- Mariano Fortuny, 1930-32. Silk. Gift of Mrs. Clarkson Runyon, 1951 // Tea gown The Metropolitan Museum of Art
The sources used for this essay:
- Manguerite O’Kane. The Robes of Fortuny. – Vogue. – December 15, 1912. – p.33
- Harold Koda. Richard Martin. Orientalism: Visions of the East in Western Dress. – In Heilbrunn Timeline of Art History. – The Metropolitan Museum of Art (October 2004)
- Camille Hadley Jones. Fortuny’s “Delphos” Gown. – Edwardian Promenade. La belle epoque in our modern wold. – January 20, 2008
- Archeo Venice Design Srl – Glass inspiration of the original lampsdesigned by Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo (1871-1949).