Caftan thumbnail 1
Image of Gallery in South Kensington
Not currently on display at the V&A
On short term loan out for exhibition

Caftan

ca. 1920 (made)
Artist/Maker
Place of origin

This gown belonged to the famous Italian actor Eleonora Duse (1858-1924), noted for her association with the poet and playwright Gabriele d'Annunzio. Duse was a great friend of the designer Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949) and was known for the fact that she used very little make-up in an age where acting demanded dramatic costumes and disguise. Duse was the first woman to appear on the cover of Time magazine in July 1923.

The multi-talented Fortuny was a painter, theatre designer, photographer, inventor and scientist. However, he is best known as a creator of extraordinary fabrics and clothes. His distinctive creations were worn by avant-garde beauties throughout the world from about 1910 to the 1930s.


Object details
Categories
Object type
Materials and techniques
Metallic printed silk velvet, faced and lined with corded silk
Brief description
Caftan of printed silk velvet, designed by Mariano Fortuny, Venice, Italy, ca. 1920
Physical description
Caftan of green/blue silk velvet printed with red metallic pigment. It is lined and faced with green corded silk and has a circular label at the centre back of the neck.
Marks and inscriptions
'Mariano Fortuny, Venise' (Inscription on label at centre back of the neck)
Credit line
Given by Fr. Sebastian Bullough
Summary
This gown belonged to the famous Italian actor Eleonora Duse (1858-1924), noted for her association with the poet and playwright Gabriele d'Annunzio. Duse was a great friend of the designer Mariano Fortuny (1871-1949) and was known for the fact that she used very little make-up in an age where acting demanded dramatic costumes and disguise. Duse was the first woman to appear on the cover of Time magazine in July 1923.



The multi-talented Fortuny was a painter, theatre designer, photographer, inventor and scientist. However, he is best known as a creator of extraordinary fabrics and clothes. His distinctive creations were worn by avant-garde beauties throughout the world from about 1910 to the 1930s.
Collection
Accession number
T.732-1972

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Record createdJune 24, 2009
Record URL
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