Jan Ladislav Dussek (1761–1812), was a Bohemian pianist and composer, and one of the first piano virtuosos to travel widely throughout Europe. Dussek lived in London for ten years where he was a member of the ‘London Piano School’. He became one of the most important figures from which all modern piano playing descends. Dussek is shown in the midst of composition. His waistcoat, breeches, collar, and long hair point to a sophisticated and self-conscious man of fashion. Looking out of the window to his left, the painting depicts Dussek in a moment of inspiration and refinement.
The portraitist Danloux, a French émigré, lived at the Palace of Holyroodhouse in Edinburgh with the exiled French Court during the 1790s. He recorded painting this portrait in his journal.