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Peter von Hess

Peter von Hess
Born Peter von Hess
(1792-07-29)29 July 1792
Düsseldorf, Holy Roman Empire
Died 4 April 1871(1871-04-04) (aged 78)
München, German Empire
Nationality German
Known for Painting

Peter Heinrich Lambert von Hess (29 July 1792 – 4 April 1871) was a German painter, known for historic paintings, especially of the Napoleonic Wars and the Greek War of Independence.


  • Life 1
  • Evaluation 2
  • Works 3
  • Notes 4
  • References 5
  • External links 6


Peter von Hess initially received training from his father Carl Ernst Christopher Hess. He accompanied his younger brother Heinrich Maria to Munich in 1806, and enrolled at the Munich Academy at the age of sixteenth. He also trained under Wilhelm von Kobell.

During the Napoleonic Wars, he was allowed to join the staff of General Wrede, who commanded the Bavarians in the military operations which led to the abdication of Napoleon. There he gained novel experiences of war and a taste for extensive travel. During this time, von Hess painted his first battle pieces. In 1818 he spent some time in Italy where he painted landscapes and various Italian scenes.

In 1833, at Ludwig's request, he accompanied Otto of Greece to the newly formed Kingdom of Greece, where at Athens he gathered materials for pictures of the war of liberation. The sketches which he then made were placed, forty in number, in the Pinakothek, after being copied in wax on a large scale by Nilsen, in the northern arcades of the Hofgarten at Munich. King Otho's entrance into Nauplia was the subject of a large and crowded canvas now in the Pinakothek, which Hess executed in person.


1911 Encyclopædia Britannica assesses his work as follows:

From the Greek paintings, and from battlepieces on a scale of great size in the Royal Palace, as well as from military episodes executed for Czar Nicholas, and the battle of Waterloo now in the Munich Gallery, we gather that Hess was a clever painter of horses. His conception of subject was lifelike, and his drawing invariably correct, but his style is not so congenial to modern taste as that of the painters of touch. He finished almost too carefully with thin medium and pointed tools; and on that account he lacked to a certain extent the boldness of Horace Vernet, to whom he was not unaptly compared.

He is buried in the Alter Südfriedhof in Munich.




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