An African in bourgeois clothing is reading a newspaper. In nineteenth-century Germany this must have seemed a highly exotic and provocative subject. But contemporary comments all praise Trübner's skills as an artist. This painting, one of his important early works, lives from the sophisticated gradations of the shades of dark blue, green and brown. Only the red silk lining of the top hat and the white newspaper set distinctive accents. Trübner made this unknown gentleman the focal point of his painting on three occasions. All three works were produced during his sojourn in Rome.