A Visual Key to Pere Gimferrer’s Fortuny

The highly abstract and poetic idiom of Pere Gimferrer’s Fortuny can easily obscure its documentary basis: virtually every episode in the novel is based on some historical or visual record. Painting and photography are particularly important to decoding it. Gimferrer has stressed that the reader need not track down all his references, that what is important is the writing’s poetic force. As a reader, that was sufficient for me, but as a translator, I felt a need to better know the text’s background. My editor at Godine and I considered illustrating my translation; in the end, it didn’t happen; but since I still have a folder of images relating to the text, which not only aided my understanding of it, but also gave me an appreciation for the Fortunys and their artistry, I thought I would put this up here, in case anyone else were interested.

Chapter One: The Man in the Turban

Chapter 1 Fortuny Man with Turban.jpg

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal – The Man With the Turban

Fortuny - The Battle of Tétouan.jpg

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal – The Battle of Tétouan

Fortuny - Contino.jpg

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal – The Contino

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo.jpg

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo – Self Portrait

Chapter Two: The Outsiders

Chapter 2 Henry James by John Singer Sargent.jpg

Henry James by John Singer Sargent

Chapter 3: The Flower Maidens

Chapter 3 Fortuny Flower Maidens.jpg

Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo – The Flower Maidens

Chapter Four: The Tragedienne

Chapter 4 Eleonora Duse by Corcos.jpg

Eleonora Duse by Vittorio Corcos

Chapter Five: At Palazzo Martinengo

Chapter 5 Portrait of Cecilia de Madrazo.jpg

Portrait of Cecilia de Madrazo by Luis de Madrazo

Chapter Six: Villa Pisani

Chapter 6 Amores in Villa Pisani.jpg

The Amores statues in Villa Pisani

Chapter Seven: Interlude

Chapter 7 Emilienne d'Alencon.jpg

Émilienne d’Alençon

Chapter Eight: Eros’s Mirror

Chapter 8 John Singer Sargent Study of a Nude.jpg

Study of a Nude by John Singer Sargent

Chapter Nine: A Visit

Chapter 9 Proust.jpg

Marcel Proust as a Young Man

Chapter Ten: Latitudes

Chapter 10 Condé Nast in a Fortuny gown.jpg

Condé Nast in a Fortuny Gown

Chapter Eleven: Ornithology

Chapter 11 Carpaccio Two Venetian Ladies.jpg

Carpaccio, Two Venetian Ladies

Chapter Twelve: The Traveler

Chapter 12 Hugo von Hofmannsthal.jpg

Hugo von Hofmannsthal

Chapter Thirteen: Embellishment

Chapter 13 sketch of Fortuny Dome.jpg

Sketch for a Fortuny Retractable Dome

Chapter Fourteen: Visions

Chapter 14 Paul-Cèsar Helleu, G. Boldini and L. Casati in the Palazzo Leoni by Mariano Fortuny.jpg

Paul-Cèsar Helleu, G. Boldini, and L. Casati at the Palazzo Fortuny, by Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo

Chapter Fifteen: Henriette

Chapter 15 alt. Portrait of Henriette Fortuny.jpg

Portrait of Henriette Fortuny by Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo

Chapter Sixteen: Nocturne

Chapter 16 Liane de Pougy.jpg

Liane de Pougy

Chapter Seventeen: Return to Villa Pisani

Villa Pisani

Chapter Eighteen: Theaters

Chapter 18 Martine_de_Béhague Comtesse de Bearn.jpg

Portrait of the Comtesse de Béarn

Chapter Nineteen: Intermission

Chapter 19 Enrico Caruso.jpg

Enrico Caruso

Chapter Twenty: The Wax Figures

Chapter 20 Mariano Fortuny y Marsal.jpg

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal

Chapter Twenty-One: Instants

Chapter 21 Marc Pourpe, son of Liane de Pougy, in aviator costume.jpg

Marc Pourpe, son of Liane de Pougy

Chapter Twenty-Two: The Lovers

Chapter 22 Theater Design for Tristan by Fortuny.jpg

Theater Design for Tristan by Fortuny

Chapter Twenty-Three: The Sphinx

Chapter 23 Dolores del Rio from Journey Into Fear.jpg

Dolores del Rio, from Journey Into Fear

Chapter Twenty-Four: Encounters

Chapter 24 Charles and Oona Chaplin.jpg

Charles and Oona Chaplin

Chapter Twenty-Five: Episode

Chapter 25 Natacha Rambova with Rodolfo Valentino.jpg

Natacha Rambova with Rodolfo Valentino

Chapter Twenty-Six: Sisterly

Chapter 26 Lilian Gish in a Fortuny Gown.jpg

Lillian Gish in a Fortuny Gown

Chapter Twenty-Seven: Table Talk

Chapter 27 Mariano Fortuny y Marsal Window Granada.jpg

A window in Granada, by Mariano Fortuny y Marsal

Chapter Twenty-Eight: Portrait

Chapter 28 portrait of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo.jpg

A portrait of Mariano Fortuny y Madrazo

Chapter Twenty-Nine: The Business

Chapter 29 Fortuny logo.jpg

The Fortuny Venise Logo

Chapter Thirty: The Dwelling

Chapter 30 Fortuny pattern modify.jpg

A Fortuny Pattern

Chapter Thirty-One: The Resolution

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Mary McCarthy as a young woman. Kay wears a Fortuny gown in her novel The Group.

Chapter 31 Julie Christie in Fortuny need permission

Julie Christie in Fortuny tunic and leggings.

Chapter Thirty-Two: Incursions

Chapter 32 Orson Welles Othello needs permission.jpg

Orson Welles in Othello

Chapter 32 Orson Welles NYT.jpg

Orson Welles in the New York Times

Chapter Thirty-Three: The Second of May

Chapter 33 Goya el 2 de mayo 1808 or the Charge of the Mamelukes.jpg

Goya: The Second of May, or the Charge of the Mamelukes

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Goya, The Second of May, 1808

Chapter Thirty-Four: The Bell

Chapter 34 Fortuny inidrect light needs permission.jpg

Fortuny’s system of indirect lighting

Chapter Thirty-Five: The Japanese Salon

Chapter 35 Mariano Fortuny y Marsal The Artists Children in the Japanese Salon.jpg

Mariano Fortuny y Marsal: The Artist’s Children in the Japanese Salon

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