Janez Košir was a carpenter and city councillor who was in charge of the carpentry work during the reconstruction of the church in Trnovo and was also involved in repairs to the wooden bridges over the Ljubljanica. In 1849 he was awarded a special diploma in recognition of his services.
Stroj depicted a proud, confident man in his sixties. Košir posed for the painter wearing his Franz Joseph decoration. The somewhat clichéd composition is enriched by a realistically captured face with prominent wrinkles and a hand that is barely recognisable as Stroj’s, in that it deviates from his established type. The different parts of the face are sensitively modelled, with soft transitions in the shading of the complexion.
The portrait is dated 1860 and is, along with the portrait of Jožefa Košir, one of Stroj’s last portraits. In this work the artist is on the threshold of academic realism while maintaining an idealised presentation of the sitter’s social status, which ties the portrait to tradition. Stroj never fully abandoned idealisation.