Mariano Fortuny Y Madrazo, was the son of the Spanish painter Mariano Fortuny Marsal. His father died in 1874, and the boy reached Paris, where he studied painting. In 1889 he moved with his mother Henriette to Venice, and he spent the rest of his life there. He was a painter and a printmaker like his father, but he also became interested in photography, theatre and set design. He was influenced by the Arts and Crafts Movement and learned to control all aspects of his designs; for the theatre he created innovative lighting techniques and also his own dyes for the coloring of the fabrics, as well as machinery for printing cloth.
Numerous examples of his work can be found in his former home, now the Fortuny Museum, in Venice.