A group of generals is gathered round Frederick II. Following the defeats that Prussia had already suffered in the Seven Years’ War, the king was giving his generals the option of with drawing from service before the impending, decisive conflict. Indeed, the Battle of Leuthen in 1757, which restored large parts of Silesia to Prussian rule, was to be a turning point in the history of Prussia. Menzel never completed this, his most representative painting of Frederick II, and even scratched certain parts out again. Yet the subtle, earthy-misty tones of the winter’s morning and the graybrown of the officers’ coats with sparse touches of red, hold the picture together despite its fragmented condition. The painting affords some insight into Menzel’s working practices: while some figures exist only as out lines, others are already completely finished.