Looming up out of the darkness, Louis Eysen encounters the viewer with a sceptical gaze. The wan light draws his light face out of the shadows and enables us to recognise the restlessness which contrasts with the sensuous lips and the dark eyes. Driven and introspective - that is how Leibl described Eysen, a Städel student he had met in Paris in 1869. The portrait of the artist should be seen in the context of the cult of friendship within Leibl's circle and reflects the close relationship of the artists to each other. Leibl's portraits in particular grant an intimate glimpse into the souls of his friends.