Portrait of the Blacksmith Jech

Karel Purkyně

Karel Purkyně - Portrait of the Blacksmith Jech
The portrait is that of the Prague blacksmith Josef Jech in his forge at Poštovská Street. Purkyně met him through Jech's wife Elisabeth Szalatnay, whom he painted as a young girl. The Purkyně and Szalatnay families were on friendly terms since the time both families lived in Wroclaw (at the time Breslau). The picture is a combination of a monumental portrait of the blacksmith reading a newspaper and of several masterfully rendered still-lifes with various tools of his trade and sundry household objects. A view into the smithy, where we see the blacksmith's helpers, indicates an analogy with Škréta's Portrait of the precious-stone cutter Dionysius Misedroni and of his family, which Purkyně knew very well.
measurements: height 139 cm
width 106 cm
material: canvas
technique: oil
inventory number: O 4762
gallery collection: Collection of 19th Century Art and Classical Modernism