Karl Friedrich Lessing (1808-1880)
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Karl Friedrich Lessing was a German historical and landscape painter, grandnephew of Gotthold Ephraim Lessing. He was born near Breslau, February 15, 1808, and was a pupil of Dähling at the Berlin Academy. He first devoted himself to landscape and in 1826 obtained a prize with his “Cemetery in Ruins.” He accompanied Schadow to Düsseldorf, where he continued his studies, devoting himself to historical paintings. In 1830, when Schadow went to Italy, Lessing occupied his place as director of the academy, exercising great influence on the Düsseldorf school. His picture “Das trauernde Königspaar” (Mourning Royal Couple) brought him great popularity. In 1837 he received a gold medal at Paris; he was a member of the Berlin Academy and was the recipient of several orders. In 1858 he was appointed director of the gallery at Karlsruhe, where he continued his activity as a painter until his death, January 4, 1880.
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