These paintings were done from heads that were brought to him from an abattoir; at one level they were just continuations of studies that he had recently been making of living hosrse, but at another they clearly refer the events at Berlin in the year of revolution.
The burial of those who had fallen in March in 1848; there were 183 coffins of people who had been killed at the barricades in conflict between citizens and the military. Menzel noted how the King, Friedrich Wilhelm IV, had been obliged to show his repect: 'Whenever a new coffin passed by, the King came out bareheaded and remained standing there until the coffin had passed by. His head shone from the distance like a white speck. It must have been the most dreadful day of his life.'