He was born into a Magyar family in Milan, in 1851. He grew up stimulated by different cultural and artistic interests cultivated by the family which directed him towards humanistic studies. In 1870 he began to understand the dynamics of the art market, traveling to the most fruitful European countries from this point of view: he visited London, Paris and Antwerp. He therefore immersed himself in the environment of the most important galleries and collectors in Europe and when he returned to Milan he began his collaboration with the Pedro Nessi and C. Gallery, becoming the owner together with his brother Alberto in 1876.
Starting from the trade of works by established artists such as Favretto, he then pushes himself into the diffusion of disheveled aesthetics, dealing with the sale of works by Daniele Ranzoni and Tranquillo Cremona. He is particularly linked to these artists, organizing among other things a large retrospective dedicated to Tranquillo Cremona, in the year of his untimely death at the age of 41, 1878. But the now accrued experience of Grubicy in the field of the art market and the knowledge of the tastes of collectors allows him, with great skill, to recognize the extent of the nascent phenomenon of Italian Divisionism.
He very quickly approaches Giovanni Segantini, Gaetano Previati, Emilio Longoni and Angelo Morbelli, immediately appreciating their technique and the choice of themes and having them sign contracts that immediately put them on the European art market. The merit of Grubicy was also that of having fully understood the intentions of the group, becoming almost a theoretical guide. It is precisely in this period, at the beginning of the 1980s, that Vittore approaches the artistic practice.
Between 1882 and 1885 he met Anton Mauve in Holland, the first artist who materially directed him to painting. Back in Italy, Grubicy de Dragon began practicing Divisionism, following Rood’s theories of color and also becoming an interpreter of the movement he had previously promoted from a commercial point of view. He therefore combines his pictorial activity with that of theorist and merchant, until 1889 when, due to some differences with his brother, he leaves the direction of the Gallery. In 1890 he made his debut at the Turin Exposition, where he presented some landscapes: Malga di Epolo, Hay Harvest and Il Quai dell’Escaut in Antwerp.
But the real artistic turning point for Grubicy took place in 1891, when he took part in the first Triennale di Brera, in which he exhibited landscapes with divided colors inspired by the nature of Verbano. In the meantime, in 1893 he participated in the Turin Exposition with an oil landscape and a series of etchings, which were also re-proposed at the 1895 Venice Biennale.
Sea of fog dates back to this year, one of the artist’s most famous works, characterized by a particular vaporous treatment of the pointillist technique. At the First Turin Triennale he sends a sort of triptych dedicated to the crepuscular symphony, vibrant and exciting paintings, just like all the works sent to the Biennials. Between 1900 and 1910, his production suffered a setback, because he was hit by a severe nervous breakdown which, however, during the moments of calm, did not prevent him from carrying out the activity of merchant and critic.
In recent years he also exhibited works previously created at the Biennials and dedicated above all to the time of twilight and night filmed in different environmental and climatic situations. At the 1905 Biennale he sent Pace-Lake Orta, October Nebbietta, Sul Naviglio-Nubi, Thunderstorm traveling, Clear! -Lake of Como and To Antwerp-Nubi.
In 1910 he returned to painting and exhibited new paintings at the Biennale of the same year: Mattino sul Lago di Lecco, A painful farewell, Lunar night in Miazzina, The salty prairies in Flanders. Much of Grubicy’s production is characterized by ideism, a continuous reference to something else: from nature we come to thought, to the symbolic feeling inside man, which distances Grubicy’s Divisionist production from the social address of that of Pellizza or Morbelli.
He painted until the end of his days, continuing to play a fundamental role in the spread of divisionism, especially among the new generations who then approached Futurism. He died in Milan in 1920.