Portrait of Karel Wiesner

Karel Purkyně

Karel Purkyně - Portrait of Karel Wiesner
Purkyně painted the companion portraits of Mr. and Mrs. Wiesner upon his return from a study stay in Paris. Karel Wiesner was a Prague landlord and innkeeper (as well as director of an institution for the poor with the church of the Victorious Virgin Mary); Barbora was his second wife, whom he married in 1857. The Wiesners probably belonged to the German middle class, as would seem from the artist’s modified Christian name in the signature. Barbara Wiesner’s portrait is composed into a triangle taken from the Renaissance; moreover, we notice the vermilion underdrawing, seen in Purkyně’s work only until the early 1860s. Her portrait is an intimate, yet realistic picture of an eighteen-year-old young wife, surrounded by the luxuries of a well-to-do middle-class household. Karel Wiesner’s portrait is that of a successful and highly self-confident man. Because of its orientation, the figure fills the entire space of the picture, while his face modelled by thick layers of paint indicates Purkyně’s move towards realism after 1860.
measurements: height 107 cm
width 80 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 2654
gallery collection: Collection of 19th Century Art and Classical Modernism