This print immerses the viewer into a lush, wild garden. Short and insistent parallel strokes fill the sky, while a range of irregular and intermingled notations mimic the entangled vegetation. Nature is certainly the protagonist of this scene no less than the dazzling sunlight that pervades it. Uncontrolled, the vegetation proliferates from the earth in an almost chaotic way, virtually devouring half the composition. In this vortex of leaves and stems stands a man in eighteenth-century dress: half-length trousers tight at the knee and a richly draped tailcoat, with his hands behind his back clutching a hat. He leans forward sharply, head in profile, and it is clear from his expression that he is curious to know what is growing in a large terracotta pot.
Rosa Vives i Piqué, Maria Luisa Cuenca Gracia, Mariano Fortuny Marsal, Mariano Fortuny Madrazo, Grabados y Dibujos, Madrid 1994; no.11, pp. 126-27.
276 x 216 mm, sheet 324 x 247 mm
Fine impression with strong inking. On Japan paper, attached along the left margin to a sheet of thick white paper, page from an artist's album, inscribed in pencil on the lower left L'AMATEUR DES JARDINS, on the right No. 11. Piqué-Garcia 11, III/III, impression from the second edition of 1878 without a title or number, but with the author’s signature stamp at the bottom right. Very well preserved, with wide margins.
Price: 2,800.00 €
Fortuny, who was born in Spain and orphaned at an early age, was largely self-taught. He was raised by his grandfather, who sold wax figures modeled by the young artist. He later entered the studio of the sculptor Talarn Ribot in Barcelona, while also attending the Academy and frequenting the studio of Claudio Lorenzale. Fortuny went to study in Rome in 1858. In 1860, he interrupted his Roman stay by accepting a commission from the Consul General of Barcelona to paint a battle picture of the victory of Spain in Morocco. Striving for picturesque local colour, he travelled to Africa several times. Fortuny visited Paris in 1866, where he studied with Gerome and was influenced by the work of Meissonier. He returned to Spain in 1868 to study Goya. Between 1869 and 1874, he travelled to England, Paris, Seville and Granada, but chose to remain an expatriate, spending the rest of his life in Naples and Rome, where he died. Fortuny was an excellent colourist and had a strong influence on the watercolorists of the late 19th century. He was also a prolific and accomplished printmaker.