“The tapestry merchant” by Fortuny, in Bilbao
14 / 04 / 2015

The tapestry merchant by Marià Fortuny (1838-1874), the renowned watercolour from the Museum of Montserrat, will be the guest work this spring at the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum. The director of the Museum of Montserrat, Josep de C. Laplana, joined this morning the presentation, along with Javier Viar, director of the Basque museum and the Culture Delegate of the City of Bilbao, Ibone Bengoetxea.
This Montserrat’s painting is number 49 in The Guest Work program and will be displayed in the room 17 of the Bilbao Fine Arts Museum until July 13, 2015.
The tapestry merchant (Paris, 1870) is one of the most emblematic Fortuny works, one of the most outstanding of its watercolorist and orientalist style. The piece is owned by the Museum of Montserrat, where it arrived in 1980 thanks to the donation of the collector Josep Sala Ardiz.
This piece is not often on display because of its fragility. It was one of the protagonists of the International Year Fortuny in the exhibition that took place at the Museum of Reus from April 26 to September 7, 2013. And last year it was also part of the selection of masterpieces from the Museum of Montserrat that travelled to Italy in the exhibition Opere maggiori dell'Abbazia, at Forte di Bard, from January 31 to June 2, 2014.
El venedor de tapissos de Marià Fortuny (Ed. Mediterrània, 2013, in Catalan), by Josep de C. Laplana, is also the title of the first book in the collection Monografies del MDM. This small volume of 77 pages -which is available in the shop of the museum- gives a summary of the history of the painting and set it in the painter’s career. The monographs series of the Museum of Montserrat grew last year with the title Sant Jeroni penitent de Caravaggio (Publicacions de l'Abadia de Montserrat, 2014, in Catalan and Spanish), by Artur Ramon. The next book in the collection, written by Jordi Falgàs, will be devoted to Dalí, mainly to the painting Neocubist Academy but also to other works of the Catalan genius kept in the Museum of Montserrat.