LESSING, Karl Friedrich, kid German painter, grand-nephew of G. E. Lessing (q.v.) ; b. Wartenberg, Silesia, 15 Feb. 1808; d. Karlsruhe, Baden, 5 June 1880. He was sent about 1822 to the architectural school of Ber lin, to fit himself for an architect. After a severe struggle between duty and inclination, he yielded to his artistic inclinations and by the production of his 'Churchyard with Grave stones and Ruins' (1825) fixed his profession irrevocably. This picture produced a strong impression, and for a year or two the artist de voted himself to landscape; but coming under the influence of Schadow, established himself in Dusseldorf, and studied historical painting with enthusiasm and success. Court Yard of the Convent — a Snow Scene,' is perhaps the most striking of all his landscapes. (The Tyrant Ezzelin in Captivity refusing the Exhortations of the Monks' (1838), was his first important historical picture in the new style. It was followed by before the
Council of Constance' (1842), the of Pope Pascal II,' the 'Martyrdom of (1850), now in Ne* York, and many others, under the influence of which the school of Dusseldorf divested itself of the strictly cath olic spirit by which it was previously character ized, and adopted a bolder and more dramatic manner, and a greater freedom in the choice of subjects. Lessing, however, is distinguished from his associates by depth of thought, energy of expression, and vivid dramatic conception, at the same time that his pictures exhibit the hard ness of outline and defective coloring peculiar to the Misseldorf school. Consult Jordan, (Ausstellung der Werke Karl Friedrich Les sings' (1880).