Count Mario Grixoni (1885-1945)
Count Mario Grixoni (1885-1945) Born in Genoa and of a noble family, he said that he did not remember ever wanting to be anything other than a painter. As a child, he attracted with his drawings the attention of Grosso and other renowned artists and from then his fate was sealed. The happy success that had smiled at his work was not, however, achieved without severe struggles. Count Grixoni arrived in London at the age of 23 years old with three children to support and little money in his pocket. He was in London for more than a quarter of a century and always worked and studied tirelessly with Sargent and Orpen, the two great English portraitists who were his close friends. His portraits, of the pure Italian school and full of grace and life, recall in fact the style, especially, of Orpen who too, although Irish, greatly devoted himself to the study and the love of the Italian grand masters of the brush. In later years, Mario Grixoni also painted twenty-five portraits in Scotland and twenty in London plus other great portraits, commissioned by the municipality of Dundee and which deserved major expressions of praise and gratitude both from the authorities of that city and from Scottish Press. The son and nephew of senior officers of the Army and Navy, (his father was General of the Italian Army and his brother, Francesco, rose to the rank of Admiral), Grixoni from a young man started a Naval career which however he soon left to give himself totally to art. Various of his ancestors were also famous painters in past centuries; from the 14th Century Grixoni, of whose fame the British Museum holds documents, to Giuseppe Grixoni, disciple of Tomaso Redi, who in the 1700s was a talented painter of portraits and left an enduring record of his work in a remarkable self-portrait in the Pitti Gallery in Florence. Two beautiful paintings of Mario Grixoni adorned the Exhibition at the Fascio in 1935. His works have been exhibited in many galleries in Europe and beyond, including the Royal Academy in London and the Salon de Paris. He was a member of The Chelsea Arts Club, the St. Johns Wood Arts Club, also part of the Council of the Pastel Society and the Council of the Arts Club, 40, Dover St., London, W. 1.