PETER HESS - afterwards Von Hess - was born at Diisseldorf in 1792, and accompanied his younger brother Heinrich Maria to Munich in 1806. Being of an age to receive vivid impressions, he felt the stirring impulses of the time, and became a painter of skirmishes and battles. In 1813-15 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 ; and there he gained novel experiences of war and a taste for extensive travel. In the course of years he successively visited Austria, Switzerland, and Italy. On Prince Otho's election to the Greek throne King Louis sent Peter Hess to Athens to gather 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 (and little to the edification of German feeling) 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. From these, and from battlepieces on a scale of great size in the Royal Palace, as well as from military episodes executed for the 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 died suddenly, full of honours, at Munich, in April 1871. Several of his genre pictures, horse hunts, and brigand scenes may be found in the gallery of Munich.
Knur, HESS, the third son of Karl Christoph Hess, born at Dusseldorf in 1801, was also taught by his father, who hoped that he would obtain distinction as an engraver. Karl, however, after engraving one plate after Adrian Ostade, turned to painting under the guidance of Wagenbauer of Munich, and then studied under his elder brother Peter. But historical composition proved to be as contrary to his taste as engraving, and he gave himself exclusively at last to illustrations of peasant life in the hill country of Bavaria. He became clever alike in representing the people, the animals, and the landscape of the Alps, and with constant means of reference to nature in the neighbourhood of Reichenhall, where he at last resided, he never produced anything that was not impressed with the true stamp of a kindly realism. Some of his pictures in the museum of Munich will serve as examples of his manner. He died at Reichenhall on the 16th of November 1874.