Karel Purkyně is a key representative of realism in the Czech milieu. Not only do his paintings follow the earlier baroque tradition but also take into account the current artistic situation in Paris which Purkyně visited in 1857. He predominately admired the paintings by Gustav Courbet there. Portraits played an important role in the painter’s oeuvre, especially the Portrait of Blacksmith Jech of 1860. The collection of Purkyně’s self-portraits is also remarkable; the one of 1868, the year he died prematurely at the age of thirty-four, holds a special position. The expression of his face is calm and concentrated, conciliated with his tragic fate.