Textiles as an art form. The work of famous artists of the 20th century.

Working with flowing silk, textured jacquard or luxurious velvet, the opportunity to transfer the fruits of their fantasies onto the fabric attracts not only fashion designers. Many famous artists have created on canvas and on fabric. Creating unusual ornaments, designing theatrical costumes and experimenting with the palette of shades attracted prominent masters of the twentieth century.


The first artist of the beginning of the last century who was fond of decorative art and worked a lot with textiles was the famous Austrian Gustav Klimt, the recognized master of Viennese Art Nouveau. Talking about the intricate ornaments of the Art Nouveau or Art Nouveau era, we remember the works of Klimt.

Klimt spent a lot of time working with fabrics and costumes thanks to his muse and lover Emilia Flege, who ran a fashion house. For her Klimt invented ornaments and patterns for fabrics, drew sketches of dresses and helped decorate the room for the demonstration of models.

Smooth lines and floral modernist motifs combined with small geometric elements, mosaicism and the characteristic golden-brown palette became Klimt’s signature style. His work is imbued with symbolism and filled with eroticism.


Picasso, the founder of cubism, was a true “all-rounder”: he worked as a painter, graphic artist, sculptor, ceramicist, and later turned his attention to textiles. He also designed costumes and decorations for theatrical productions, in particular for the ballet “Triangle”. The ornaments he created were done in the characteristic manner of the late Picasso – in the spirit of primitivism and childish drawings, his favorite image of the bull was often used. The juicy, bright, expressive palette looks great on the fabrics, Picasso’s particular style made the designs memorable.

All the textile solutions of the famous Spaniard were filled with freedom, originality and brightness, just like his painting, and for a long time won popularity among young people.

Salvador Dali

The most famous representative of the surrealist school liked to work with fabrics and headdresses, jewelry and decorative objects, he also created theatrical sets. In the thirties, Dali began to collaborate with the fashion designer Elsa Schiaparelli, a woman open to everything new and unusual, eager to expand her horizons in fashion and design. Many of Dali’s original paintings were transferred to fabrics. One of the most famous works created by this tandem is an all-white lobster evening gown for the Duchess of Windsor.

Another amazing creation of surrealist fantasies is the famous skeleton dress. The black evening gown with the bones showing through was a real challenge.

Their work with textiles is multifaceted: creating designs and choosing a palette, combining multifaceted fabrics, decorating the finished product. It is a fascinating process and a true art.