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02-11-2007
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Quote:
Unlabeled Gallenga Velvet Gown & Purse, 1920
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19-11-2007
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Quote:
Unlabeled Gallenga Velvet Bag, c. 1920.


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30-11-2007
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Quote:
Gallenga Ruby Velvet Stenciled Evening Cape
Italian, 1920s
Copper gold, repeat medallion with Medieval heraldic motifs, smocked yoke with rolled ruched collar, velvet knotted and rolled ties interspersed with metallic braid terminating in long silk fringed tassels, wine changeante silk lining, no size, unlabeled.
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28-05-2008
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Quote:
Gallenga stenciled velvet bag, c.1920

The textile art of Maria Monaci Gallenga (1880-1944) is often compared to that of Fortuny because they both produced hand-stenciled designs that drew inspiration from the distant past. The patterns of Gallenga, generally larger and less textured than those of Fortuny, often contain exotic birds or beasts.

Gallenga's loyal followers, who frequented her shop in Florence, preferred the mysterious, Gothic quality of her designs. She is best known for medieval and Oriental designs stenciled in shades of silver and gold.

Throughout her career, Gallenga remained true to her original formula for stenciling on silk velvet. She used as many as 9 tones of gold and silver pigment to achieve the desired ombré shading. The metallic pigment does not tarnish or flake off, thanks to a special formula devised by Gallenga's husband, a Professor at the University of Rome.

The bag has shades of bronze/gold stenciling on black silk velvet and is lined with beige satin. The silk corded tassel is attached with a Murano glass bead. Many Gallenga pieces, like this bag, are unsigned. I have included three pictures of stenciled birds from signed Gallenga pieces I have owned.
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28-05-2008
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Quote:
Gallenga stenciled velvet cape, 1920s

This superb stenciled cape is an excellent example of the Gallenga style. The wide stenciled border features a magical landscape of stylized plant forms, exotic birds, and mythical beasts. The stenciled border is signed "Maria Monaci Gallenga"—see the picture below.The mesmerizing chartreuse hue of the velvet is unforgettable. The cape is lined with pale green satin.

The fullness of the cape is controlled with ruching across the shoulders. The thickly padded and ruched collar perfectly frames the face. The cape closes in front with ties embellished with Venetian glass beads and braided metallic cord.

Gallenga became an overnight sensation at a theatre opening in New York in 1916. She wore her "medieval" gown, which attracted more attention than the play. Like our fabulous cape, her gown on that fateful night was also stenciled by a miraculous process whereby the pattern appeared to float on a weightless fabric.

The cape was purchased from the collection of Charles Kleibacker, a well known fashion designer and museum curator. His extensive collection focused on unique examples of couture.
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28-05-2008
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Quote:
Gallenga stenciled chiffon shawl, 1920s

This exquisite example of textile art features wide stenciled borders of foliage and Luccese styled birds. The pattern includes a barely legible "Maria Monaci Gallenga" signature. The ends of the shawl are trimmed with loops of coral beads.
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28-05-2008
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Maria Monaci Gallenga

Painter and designer of textiles and clothes. Her fame is linked to the invention of a technique for printing textiles with which she made clothes and furnishings that were very famous in Europe and the U.S. between 1915 and 1935.

Born in Rome to one of the most cultivated families of the time, she grew up surrounded by scholars, poets, philosophers, and scientists. In 1903, she married Pietro Gallenga, one of the first doctors to specialize in oncology.

She began to paint while still very young, fascinated by Renaissance painting. Fabrics depicted by the painters she loved, combined with her admiration for the work of Mariano Fortuny, stirred her interest in the textile arts and directed her artistic choices.

Starting in 1915, there are records of her participation in important exhibits such as the Roman Secession, in which she presented panels and cushions printed in velvet, and the San Francisco Exhibition, in which she presented clothes that she designed and printed. She enjoyed great success at each.

The early models and the first printing proofs recall, in their shape and choice of themes, those of Fortuny. But the artistic criteria that were the basis for her international success soon proved to be totally original.

Sensitive and engaged in the cultural debates of her time, which asked questions about the role of the decorative arts, the search for a style that was at the same time both modern and national, and the qualities which distinguish an art product, an artisanal product, and a product of small industry from one other.

She provided concrete answers which she pursued with intelligence and awareness. In the garment, which had in itself, as something that was used, the concreteness of life, she saw the possibility of a synthesis between the pictorial arts (in the decorations) and the plastic arts (in the cut of the tailoring).

The garment represented, moreover, the most eloquent way to spread the new aesthetic ideas. Such an ambitious program could not be followed all on her own. Gallenga always worked in collaboration with the most famous artists of her time, who provided the patterns for her printed fabrics.

The collaboration with Vittorio Zecchin was already in place by the time of the San Francisco Exhibition of 1915, and it was renewed for the exhibitions of Amsterdam in 1922 and Paris in 1925. She worked with Antonio Maraini for the Venice Bienniale in 1924. The sketches for the curtain she created for the Quirino Theater in Rome in 1925 were made by Marcello Piacentini. Her partnerships with artists also saw collaborations with Galileo Chini, Gino Sensani, Romano Romanelli, Carlo and Fides Testi, and Emanuele Cito di Filomarino. She participated with them on the programs of the National Institute for Artisanal Crafts and Light Industry established in 1925 to spread and strengthen the image of Italian products.

She was awarded the silver medal at the Monza exhibition in 1923. In 1928, together with the other women entrepreneurs Bice Pittoni and Carla Visconti di Modrone, she opened the Boutique Italienne in Paris. Located on Rue Miromesnil, it was active until 1934 as a window on modern Italian taste.

Apart from her first models, which remind one of Fortuny, Gallenga's clothes took current fashion trends into account. The recognition of her role was also confirmed by the French, who admired her pavilion at the Expo of 1925 and invited her, the only one in Italy, to participate in a high fashion presentation organized at the Lido in Venice by the magazine Fémina.

Every garment, every interior décor object that she produced was unique: even though the style might be repeated, the fabric and the pattern were always different. The printing of the textiles was always carried out by hand with wooden blocks on the pieces of fabric before the garment was manufactured, so that the pattern could be adjusted to the shape and cut of the material. It was sometimes also done on partially finished pieces, so that the patterns would not print on the seams. The large patterns were sectioned off and composed of several moulds, obtaining ever changing compositions. This printing technique, which she patented, involved the use of metallic pigments, mostly gold and silver. Very typical was the technique of shading one color into another, producing a shadow effect.

The fabrics used most were velvet and crepes of different weight, such as chiffon, georgette, and marocain. The patterns chosen were inspired by publications on art fabrics which had started to appear in those years, with a clear preference for fabrics made in Lucca in the 1300s. Starting in the mid 1920s, the modern artists in the group linked to her became dominant.

Through the manufacture of these kinds of garments, Gallenga meant to answer the problem of how to create a style of fashion according to Italian taste that wouldn't be just an artistic product but could also, without losing its artistic content, pay attention to the necessities of production and marketing.

Printing by hand, as reinvented by her, guaranteed aesthetic quality in the design, and, due to its rather fast execution, allowed pieces to be produced in multiples but without any decline in quality due to repetition. This opened new commercial horizons and transformed the artist into a manufacturing artisan. The patent and 7,000 wooden moulds, some hand carved and some drilled, now belong to the Collection of the theatrical tailor Umberto Tirelli.
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28-05-2008
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Quote:
Gallenga Tabard Tea Gown c. 1915-1920

Persimmon silk velvet stenciled with gold, Venetian glass mille fiore beads.

In the early 20th century, Italian artistMaria Monaci Gallenga created an ingenious method of stenciling metallic paint on velvet. The result of this process made the stenciled design appear to "float" on the fabric. In her book, Couture The Great Designers, Caroline Millbank claims that, "Those who frequented her (Gallenga's) shop in Florence on the via de' Tornabuoni preferred her clothes to those of Fortuny because of the naive, Gothic quality of the large flat patterns....a medieval tabard tea gown formed of two practically flat rectangular panels, the rear one long enough to form a train, became a Gallenga signature." Gallenga rarely used signature labels in her gowns and cloaks. To those who know and collect this important designer's garments, her work is its own signature.
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Provenienza: Gallenga

Epoca: 1910, autentici.

A sinistra: Abito in velluto di seta marrone stampato argento e oro, con pannello centrale davanti e dietro. Motivo della stampa: pigne argento e grandi volute oro. Le lunghe ali in chiffon nero che formano le maniche hanno stampati in oro e argento motivi floreali e animali mitologici, e sul fondo una decorazione di perline di vetro.

A destra: Abito dello stesso tessuto con scollatura triangolare davanti e dietro e due spacchi laterali in fondo. Il motivo della stampa è un grande drago dai riflessi oro e argento.
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Quote:
Gallenga hand-stenciled silk velvet tea gown, c.1920. The seams are joined with Venetian glass beads. Label: The signature "Maria Monaci Gallenga" is stenciled on the underside of the train.
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31-05-2008
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Gallenga Stenciled Velvet Cape
1930s
Semicircular, with quilted red border, silver and gold stenciled interpretive Luccese pattern around top third section, red lining and edging, signed: Gallenga.
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01-06-2008
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Gallenga jacket.

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Maria Monaci Gallenga was a Fortuny disciple and was also considered the mentor of the Italian Futurists. She exhibited her work with great success and won a Grand Pix at the San Francisco exhibition in 1915. In the momentous and prestigious 1925 Exposition International des Arts Decoratifs et industriels Modernes in Paris she exhibited in the Italian Pavilion and the won the Grand Prix Classe XIII for her stencilled textiles.

Her "signature" exquisite stencilled plush velvets were superb and featured a variety of medieval mythological creatures. This short jacket by Gallenga fashioned of rich ruby red panne velvet elaborately stenciled in gold throughout. Oversized bell sleeves enhance the style of the garment while the artwork adds drama and impact to this one-of-a-kind rare piece. Provenance: Denver Art Museum; circa early 20th century.
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29-07-2008
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Probably same cape as in post #5

Quote:
Gallenga Citrine Velvet Stenciled Cape
1920s
Knee length, with large ruched collar and yoke, self ties decorated with woven gold cord ornaments strung on gold chains with yellow, green and red Venetian beads, the silk velvet stenciled with gold and silver pigments in Luccese inspired pattern incorporating animals, birds and palmettes, green silk lining, the velvet signed: Maria Monaci Gallenga.
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29-07-2008
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Gallenga Stenciled Velvet Medieval Gown
1920s
Of fawn silk velvet stenciled in silver and gold pigments with pattern of addorsed and confronting birds, the floor length robe with square train, straight neckline and swinging sleeves extending to hem, the front and back shoulders and sleeves attached by rows of cylindrical Venetian beads and silk loops, sleeves lined with stenciled silk crepe.
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