Royal Collection Trust/© Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II 2014
Frederick II, King of Prussia (1712-86)
Full-length, standing, facing three-quarters to the left, head turned half left, holding a baton in his right hand and pointing with his left towards a battle waged in the background; wearing armour with a scarlet, ermine-lined mantle and powdered wig.
This is a variant of Pesne's 1739 head and shoulders portrait of the sitter as Crown Prince in the Gemaeldegalerie, Berlin. This was probably painted a few years later in the early 1740s when the sitter had succeeded his father as King of Prussia. The head and shoulders is expanded into a full-length battle-field image, with the symbols and decisive gesture of a commander in chief. The portrait is recorded hanging in the Privy Chamber at Kensington Palace in 1818.