The painter’s cousin Ivan Šubic (Poljane nad Škofjo Loko, 1856 ‒ Ljubljana, 1924) is portrayed in a portrait style very typical of the first half of the 19th century.
Still a student of science, mathematics, and physics at the time in Vienna, Ivan is painted with precision and an air of officiality from the waist up, with an emphasis on the colour contrast between the dark background and black clothes and the illuminated face, hand, and white shirt. A true opposite to this painting is found in the slightly younger work Letter (Pismo, NG S 433), itself a portrait of Ivan Šubic, in which lamplight blurs the precise outlines.
Ivan Šubic was the best friend of both painters, Janez and Jurij Šubic. As such, he faithfully stored all their correspondence, which is full of crucial details about both brothers, and he also acted as executor of their estates. Ivan was further a government councilor, a member of the art tribunals for all of Ljubljana’s monuments, where he regularly played the role of conservator in the central commission, and the founder and director of the craft and arts and crafts school in Slovenia, which was later renamed the Technical High School and the Vocational School.