Terragona 1838 - Roma 1874
Fortuny born in Reus (Catalonia) on 1838, was premature orphaned by his mother. He was assigned to the protection of his grandfather who, recognizing his artistic abilities, directed him to the school of the artist Domènec Soberano. After moving to Barcelona in 1852 he obtained a scholarship to attend the School of Fine Arts. In 1858 he went to Rome, where he finished his studies and became friend with various artists including the Roman painter Attilio Simonetti (1843-1925) with whom he went to Naples and he shared the studio in Via Flaminia. When the Spanish-Maroccan War broke out in 1860, the Barcelona authorities commissioned him to travel to Morocco where he was influenced by the chromatic liveliness of African colour. Fortuny married Cecilia de Madrazo, daughter of Federico de Madrazo, director of the Prado Museum, and in the following years moved to Europe, living first in Paris, then two years in Granada and finally in Rome. After a few trips to Paris, London and Naples, Fortuny died in Rome (November 21, 1874) at the age of 36, following a malarial fever contracted during his Parthenopean stay and was buried at the Verano Cemetery. Immediately after his death his friend Simonetti took care of the first sale of items collected by the artist. In 1875, at Hôtel Drouot in Paris, all the most important antique pieces that the master had collected were auctioned. Fortuny`s son, Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo, was in turn a famous painter as well as set designer.