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Marko Gerbec

(Zagreb, Croatia 1811- Zagreb, Croatia 1872)
Greek Croatia Poet

Born into a wealthy merchant family of Greek origin, at the age of sixteen Dimitrija wrote his first drama “”Βιργινία” (Virginia), demonstrating the beginning of his literary talents in both the Greek and Croatian languages.  He studied philosophical in Graz before moving on to his medical studies in Vienna and then to Padua, where he graduated with a thesis on meningitis in 1836.

During his time at university, he kept his cultural interests alive while on his return to his homeland, he began his medical profession, but he would soon abandoned medicine to devote himself to literature. He was an advocate of Illyricism, a movement that supported the ideal of a cultural and political unity of the South Slavs; Dimitrija is considered one of the architects of the revival of the literary and cultural life of Croatia.

There is an interesting story behind this particular canvas. It is said that the canvas is a self-portrait by the artist Dal Forno. While painting the portraits of the 40 souls Dal Forno became superstitious, therefor by included himself into this canvas he too would be put on display along with the other 39 souls in a gesture of solidarity.