A Moor Reading the Newspaper (“Political Studies”)
Oil on canvas
Inv. No. 1352 (Property of the Städelscher Museums-Verein e.V.)
63 × 51 cm
During his stay in Rome in winter 1872/73, Wilhelm Trübner, who later taught at the Städelsches Kunstinstitut (Städel Art Institute), did three paintings of Moors. His intention in painting this portrait of a black man was not to make a political statement but to pursue his interest in colour. The model’s dark skin in front of the dark shades of blue and black shows Trübner’s penchant for painting subtly nuanced tones. While his other two paintings of Moors are bust-length portraits, here the reading Moor is a full-length figure sitting comfortably in an armchair. The monochromatic background produces a vague pictorial space, from which the white of the newspaper shines forth.