Various incarnations of brooding, immobile, detached, apathetic, or otherwise inexpressive faces inhabit turn-of-the century art. Although some of them are related to the older tradition of depiction of melancholia, they now often seem to refer to the phenomenon of daydreaming or reverie, which occupied a distinct place in the cultural consciousness of the period and often had a deeper symbolic connotation. Mostly female figures, submerged in moments of daydreaming, appear in turn-of-the-century art in a broad spectrum—from masterly renderings in the works of Edouard Manet, Fernand Khnopf, or Alphonse Mucha to works suffused with affected sentimentality. The attraction of Zrzavý’s portrait inheres in a subtle oscillation between an opaque, inexpressive face and a barely perceptible trace of emotional tone of sadness or melancholy that it radiates. The painting thus powerfully activates the affective resonance and empathic reaction of viewers, absorbing our gaze and prompting us to look for subtle traces of emotion and presence of mind in an empty somatic membrane of the face.