Purkyne, Karel

The following article is from The Great Soviet Encyclopedia (1979). It might be outdated or ideologically biased.

Purkyně, Karel


Born Mar. 11, 1834, in Breslau, present-day Wrocław, Poland; died Apr. 5, 1868, in Prague. Czech painter. Son of J. E. Purkyně (J. E. Purkinje).

Purkyně studied at the Academy of Arts in Prague (from 1851) and with J. B. Berdellé in Munich (1854 and 1855). His works, which include portraits, still-lifes, and genre scenes, are marked by truthful representations and psychologically convincing figures. Purkyně sought to represent the materiality of the objective world. He employed a free impasto technique. Examples of his works are Portrait of the Vorlič ek Family (1859–60) and Pheasants (1861), both of which are in the National Gallery in Prague.

Purkyně was the first Czech artist to paint realistic and socially incisive representations of urban workers (for example, his portrait of the blacksmith Jech— Blacksmith-politician, 1860, National Gallery, Prague). He also advocated realism in his art criticism.


Mastera iskusstva ob iskusstve (collection), vol. 4. Moscow, 1967. Pages 564–69.


Ehrenburg, I. Karel Purkine. [Moscow, 1960.]
Volavka, V. Karel Purkyně. Prague-Bratislava, 1962.
The Great Soviet Encyclopedia, 3rd Edition (1970-1979). © 2010 The Gale Group, Inc. All rights reserved.