Vittore Grubicy de Dragon
(Milano, 1851 – 1920)
Italian painter, dealer, critic and collector of Hungarian origin.
Grubicy grew up in a well-to-do family in Milan. Both of his parents were great art lovers, and from an early age he was introduced to the art circles in Milan and other European cities. Around 1870 he frequented a bohemian group of Milanese artists, poets and writers known as Gli Scapigliati and in 1870-71 visited London. Grubicy's acquaintance with the art galleries there inspired him to start his own gallery in Milan, specializing in the Scapigliati artists, particularly Tranquillo Cremona (1837-1878) and later Daniele Ranzoni (1843-1889). After Cremona's death in 1878, Grubicy extended his interest to younger Lombard artists, primarily Giovanni Segantini, whose Choir of San Antonio impressed him at the 1879 annual exhibition at the Brera, Milan, Emilio Longoni (1859-1932) and later Angelo Morbelli. Grubicy became Segantini's dealer and they were in close collaboration from this time.
Between 1882 and 1885 Grubicy was in the Low Countries and probably informed Segantini of Millet and the Hague School. During his visit Grubicy also began to draw (e.g. Housemaid Washing, 1884; Milan, Castello Sforzesco) and to paint (e.g. The Hague: My First Work, 1884) under the supervision of his friend Anton Mauve. On his return to Milan Grubicy became art critic for the newspaper Riforma.
Grubicy de Dragon was largely responsible for introducing to Italy the optical theories that led to Divisionism in Italian painting. His writings and artistic examples influenced an entire generation of late 19th-century Italian painters. In addition, the Grubicy Gallery became one of the first art enterprises to be run on the concept of exhibiting living artists that were represented as clients of the gallery.