"Many a room has been "made" by a single panel of Fortuny fabric. As furniture coverings and curtains these prints are infinitely rich and adaptable. And the superb gesture is to hang entire wall surfaces with Fortuny stuffs."1
Mariano Fortuny's interest in the past influenced all of his work. His most iconic garment, the finely pleated silk Delphos dress, was based on the pleated garments portrayed in ancient Greek sculpture. To complement the Delphos, Fortuny created loose-fitting coats, capes and wraps and patterned with rich designs. Fortuny's tastes were varied and his textile patterns referenced a wide array of artistic traditions. The Italian Renaissance was a consistent inspiration, but Fortuny also borrowed design elements from sources as diverse as the pre-Columbian art of Central and South America, Chinese brush paintings, Coptic textile designs, and Arabic calligraphy. Fortuny's first encounters with historic textiles were through his family. His parents collected historic textiles, and Fortuny continued this collecting tradition, amassing a large collection of historic textiles that were kept in trunks at the Palazzo Orfei, Fortuny's home in Venice.