Among Vladimír Holan's postwar poetic output, the cycle Rudoarmĕjci (Red army soldiers, 1947) enjoys high critical acclaim while the trio of his other works, Dík Sovĕtskému svazu (Thanks to the Soviet Union), Panychida (A memorial service), and the cycle Tobé (To you), is regarded as a crude exercise in propaganda. Peter Steiner argues that the main reason for this evaluative difference is that the genre of the cycle enables Holan to disseminate an ideological message similar to that of the unappreciated trio in a more subtle, less ostentatious manner. The first part of the article analyzes the various techniques of portraiture Holan employed to represent ordinary Russian soldiers (prosopopeia and ethopoeia). In the second part, Steiner discusses the genre's ideological potential. Since portrait by definition must depict an actual human subject, the very selection of the model and his or her features embroils such a work in a specific social reality and reflects the author's attitude toward it. This worldview, however, is not added to the text mechanically, from without, but comprises an integral part of the very mimetic apparatus that generates its overall meaning.