Known as ‘Lulo’, he was born in Venice, Italy, the son of the famous Italian classical painter Eugene de Blaas (1843–1931). His father has work in some of the greatest public collections worldwide and is still highly collected today. Naturally his first artistic instruction came at his father’s knee, but he soon began travelling Europe, studying in Munich and Paris. In 1912 he exhibited at the Rome Biennale and in 1913 at Ca' Pesaro in Venice at the V Exhibition of the Bevilacqua La Masa Foundation. He spent the Great War in the Italian navy who commissioned a series of battle scenes that were reproduced as prints. A short-lived venture in fabric manufacturing came to nothing and in 1922 he moved to New York, conceivably to escape the shadow of the great man and carve his own reputation as a painter. Over the next decade he established a highly lucrative portrait practice on the east coast.
His father had married a countess with her own large fortune so no doubt his social credentials did much in opening doors to the salons of the wealthiest New York families. Giulio’s greatest patron was the feted businesswoman and tastemaker of her day, Marjorie Merriweather Post. Commissioning many portraits of her family and herself she chose the young Blaas to record her in full bejewelled splendour, to mark her presentation at the Court of St James in 1929. Post was also remembered for building the fabulous Mar-a-Lago in Florida. Giulio’s glittering career was tragically cut short by a botched surgical operation in New York in 1934. He was buried in the family tomb in San Michele, Venice.