The subject of this painting is a council of war in the Royalist camp the day before the first battle of the English Civil War. King Charles I is accompanied by his commanders Prince Rupert (seated) and the Earl of Lindsey, pointing to the map. His sons, the future Kings Charles II and James II, play with a dog. Pre-figuring his ultimate defeat, the King has allowed his concentration to wander and is staring at the pretty maid serving a dish of bacon. Landseer’s more famous younger brother Edwin originally painted the dogs. These were later cut out and sold separately, while the main painting was repaired by an unknown artist.